Thursday 20 June 2019

Suspect arrested in probe of fake accidents

  

Stock photo: PA
Stock photo: PA

Ken Foy

One of the suspected main organisers of fake accidents in the country has been arrested as part of a long-running investigation into fraudulent insurance claims.

The 43-year-old suspect was questioned last night at Balbriggan garda station after he was arrested at his north Co Dublin home. He was later released without charge.

The suspect was questioned specifically in relation to providing false information on an affidavit, in which it is alleged he swore that he had never had a previous claim.

It is understood he is the first person ever to be arrested for an offence pursuant to the Civil Liabilities Act 2004. An affidavit is a written statement, confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court.

Investigations have established the man is suspected of being involved in more than half a dozen staged accidents which have resulted in more than 40 insurance claims in a two-year period.

This resulted in hundreds of thousands of euro being paid out to dozens of people known to the suspect by multiple insurance companies.

All the fake accidents are alleged to have happened within a small area of Ballyfermot and Clondalkin between 2014 and 2016. A file is being prepared for the DPP.

"These were all low-impact accidents which happened at low speeds in which minor damage occurred and the incidents were never reported to gardaí," a senior source said.

"The arrest of this individual, who does not have previous criminal links and who is in employment, is part of a wider Garda investigation," the source added.

In fact, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) is investigating more than 200 fake accident cases and more arrests are expected over this type of crime.

Gardaí announced yesterday that "a search warrant was executed at a solicitor's office in the Dublin area" as part of the same probe.

Yesterday's operation is the most significant to be carried out by the GNECB since last month, when detectives raided solicitors' offices and private homes in a probe into a Dublin family suspected of more than 20 bogus insurance scams.

The family are being investigated after thousands of euro were paid out in claims. It is suspected they have been involved in highly organised fraud going back several years.

Irish Independent

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