The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) has made a series of arrests in its first fortnight of operation.
The insurer-funded anti-fraud police unit, which opened its doors on 3 January, has arrested a Hertfordshire man, who in 2005 claimed that a back injury had left him unable to work. Since then he has run up an insurance bill of several hundred thousand pounds.
The police have evidence calling the validity of the claim into question, which has led to IFED’s first criminal charges as well as the man’s arrest.
The anti-fraud unit has also arrested three people suspected of running an internet car insurance company that was taking premiums but not providing any cover, leaving individuals unknowingly driving without insurance.
In its second week, IFED arrested a man in Newport, Wales, after he was accused of staging a burglary in his own home and then making a claim for £29,000-worth of electrical goods and jewellery.
These new arrests add to the one IFED made on its first day, of a man in Leamington Spa claiming £35,000 for a stolen BMW that was still in his possession.
Also in its second week, IFED received reports from police forces across the country of a major car insurance fraud allegedly based in the Midlands. Detectives are assessing the intelligence before deciding whether to launch a full investigation.
“We wanted to make an immediate impact and put out a clear statement of intent, and that is exactly what we have done,” said IFED head detective chief inspector Dave Wood. “In two weeks we have travelled far and wide to dismantle organised insurance fraud and tackle opportunistic insurance fraud. The challenge for us is to maintain this very high level of performance.”
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