Eight arrested over motor insurance claims scam

Eight people were arrested yesterday on suspicion of involvement in fraudulent motor insurance claims arising out of fake car accidents.

Gardaí conducted early-morning swoops as part of a major inquiry into a gang believed to be responsible for staged car crashes in which fraudulent personal injury claims were made.

Three men and five women, understood to be mainly in their 30s and from Cork City and north Cork, were detained yesterday.

Gardaí have reportedly been investigating the scam for the past two years.

A senior Garda source said the latest arrests brought to 33 the number of people who have been interviewed in connection with “the organised fraud”.

The source said a “comprehensive file had been prepared in relation to 25 other people and sent to the DPP”.

Yesterday’s arrests were made under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. The eight suspects were being questioned at a number of Garda stations in Cork City and east Cork.

The arrests were part of a planned operation which has been co-ordinated by the Garda divisions in Cork City, Cork North, and Cork West.

Gardaí were first alerted to the fraud last year. It relates to a number of crashes which took place on the outskirts of the city and north Cork in 2012.

It is believed a number of minor accidents were staged and passengers in the cars made claims for personal injuries, such as whiplash.

The majority of the 25 previously interviewed had reportedly made claims for personal injuries.

In some cases, insurance companies paid the claimants between €5,000 and €12,000 each.

Gardaí suspect, in some cases, some of those who made successful claims handed over the money to third parties.

Not all of those involved were known to each other, but the majority were “friendly”, sources indicated.

“We have been collaborating with insurance companies during this investigation. It’s fraud like this which causes increases in ordinary motorists’ premiums,” the Garda source said.


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