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Facebook photos expose “sick” couple as food poisoning fakers

Thanks to happy Facebook holiday photos, fraudsters have lost their compensation battle with holiday company Tui.

Take a look at the vacation photo Jade Muzoka posted on her Facebook page.
There she is with then-boyfriend Leon Roberts, poolside, eating a fine meal and drinking at the luxury Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort and Spa, in Turkey, in July 2015.
Mmmm, maki roll… wasabi… soy sauce… dumplings… pepper sauce… My, what a scrumptious meal. Odd thing, though: the couple is smiling, definitely not clutching their stomachs, even though they claimed in April 2016 that they’d had food poisoning during their stay and were bedridden with vomiting and diarrhea.
Muzoka, 27, and Roberts, 37, both bodybuilders, had, in fact, faked food poisoning in order to get a pay out from the holiday company. On Monday, after having pleaded guilty to fraud at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court in the UK, they were slapped with a six-month sentence that was suspended for 12 months, ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid community work, and handed a bill for £1,115 to cover court costs and a victim surcharge.
How did they get found out? It was those happy, shiny photos they posted to Facebook that popped their bubble. Not only was there that shot of them lounging and dining by the pool: they also posted boozy selfies and photos from day trips.
They had sued the travel firm Tui, but Tui wasn’t having any of it. Not only did investigators find the couple seemingly looking quite chipper in their Facebook photos, they also described to the court how a solicitor, a doctor and a claims management company had helped to prepare the “blatantly false” food-poisoning claim.

Illness faking is a big hit among British conmen and -women. As The Guardian reports, British holidaymakers lead the world when it comes to fake illness claims – the “gastroenteritis wars” are being waged across the Mediterranean – and travel companies are fighting back.
District judge Jonathan Taaffe had warned Roberts and Muzoka that they could be imprisoned as a deterrent to a “tsunami” of claims.

It would fly in the face of common sense for me to ignore the fact that a holiday company feel it necessary, because of a tsunami of claims, to bring a private prosecution.

The couple had withdrawn the claim before they received payout, but Tui chose to prosecute them anyway.
Be forewarned, fake sickies: the industry is fighting back, the courts are looking to make examples of you, and investigators and prosecutors are plenty smart enough to snoop around in your social media posts to see if your tales of retching pan out.


Wait. My wife and I got violently ill at a resort in Playa del Carmen about 15 years ago. Never crossed our minds to even complain to the resort. Times have changed.


lol and now any restaurant that knows who they are either won’t serve them, or they will get a little extra (Hachoo, excuse me) seasoning.


Brits are also becoming notorious for fake theft claims whilst on holiday, a couple of cases in Cyprus have exposed the fraud.


Surely two cases in one country isn’t quite enough to denounce a whole nation as “notorious”? Surely you should look at reliable domestic insurance fraud stats inside country X to judge the people of country X?


As far as faking sickness goes, there’s more than 2 cases. From the Guardian: “Cehat, the Spanish hotel and apartment trade body, estimates that Brits cost them €100m in food-poisoning claims over the past three years. By contrast, the sums from German and French tourists are negligible. One big tour operator points to statistics from July and August of last year: ‘There were 750,000 traveling British customers, 800,000 Germans and 375,000 Scandinavians. The Scandinavians lodged 39 claims for holiday illness and the Germans filed 114. The Brits put in just under 4,000.'”


With a bit of luck you brexiting pricks will all be banned from traveling to Europe and hence end up in Florida, which seems more appropriate for your social and intellectual abilities.


That’s not the most respectful comment I’ve ever seen and it certainly isn’t the most useful. But it raises some interesting issues.
We’ll still have nearby countries such as Norway, Switzerland and the Vatican as non-EU destinations to choose from.
It would be interesting to know how UK citizens would travel to the Vatican if they were prohibited from entering Italy first. I imagine that on the basis of its enshrined religious freedoms the EU would have to provide some sort of “free passage” system to let bona fide visitors cross Italian soil.


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