Homes and offices raided over bogus insurance scams
Detectives have raided solicitors' offices and private homes as part of a major probe into a Dublin family suspected of carrying out more than 20 bogus insurance scams.
The family are being investigated by several Garda units over alleged fraudulent insurance claims which have seen thousands of euro paid out in some cases.
Gardaí suspect they have been involved in highly organised fraud cases going back several years, which mainly involve personal injury claims from slips, trips and falls.
Yesterday morning, detectives attached to the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB), assisted by the CAB and Armed Support Unit (ASU), carried out a number of searches in west Dublin.
Private homes and solicitors' offices were searched while six high-end cars and jewellery valued at more than €300,000 was also seized. Documentation and financial records were seized with gardaí hoping to prosecute those suspected of insurance related criminality.
Payment has already been made in some of more than 20 cases involving the family, who have submitted multiple claims using false identities.
Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Lordan, head of the GNECB, told the Irish Independent that individuals as well as criminal gangs are being investigated for insurance fraud.
"We treat it as a serious crime and over the last number of years we have been carrying out investigations into a number of organised crime groups involved in insurance fraud," he said.
"That culminated in the operation, four houses and solicitors' offices were searched under warrant. There is a lot of money being falsely claimed by way of insurance fraud throughout.
"In some cases money has been paid out but that doesn't stop us investigating the fraudulent claim."
Det Chief Supt Lordan added that Operation Coatee was a joint initiative involving various Garda agencies working with district and divisional units to stop insurance fraud.
The national units involved in yesterday's searches were also assisted by officers attached to Lucan garda station.
Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll, head of Special Crime Operations (SCO), said efforts are ongoing to target assets in cases where bogus insurance claims have been paid out.
"The Garda Síochána is determined to identify all those persons who are involved in the making of bogus insurance claims and to maximise its potential to initiate prosecution, through engaging in co-ordinated operation activity, such as that undertaken today.
"Where financial gain has already been achieved by those involved in this form of criminality the Garda Síochána will utilise available legislation to identify relevant assets and target them for seizure," the senior garda said.