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Arrest warrants issued for uninsured drivers who fail to pay off fines

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Bench warrants are being issued for the arrest of uninsured drivers who fail to pay their debts as part of a crackdown on recovering costs incurred by insurance claims.

The Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), a not-for-profit organisation which compensates victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured or untraceable drivers, is also seeking judgments against those who bring exaggerated personal injury claims.

Injury claims are brought against the MIBI in cases involving an untraceable or uninsured driver.

The MIBI recently began a recovery process against Constantin Iosca, who withdrew his High Court personal injury claim after video footage taken by a private investigator was shown in court.

The video showed Mr Iosca being pushed in a wheelchair to a medical appointment in Dublin city centre but later walking around unaided.

Costs

Mr Iosca (40), of Scholar's Walk, Lusk, Dublin, sued the MIBI when he claimed his bicycle was struck in 2016 by a car which could not be traced.

His case was dismissed and costs were awarded to the MIBI, which estimates its legal bill will be in excess of €30,000.

It is understood a garnishee order has been issued against Mr Iosca, who is an unemployed father-of-two.

A garnishee order means if he gets a job or comes into money in the future, he will have to use any money received to pay his debt to the MIBI.

The MIBI has also gone a step further in some cases by seeking bench warrants to be issued for people who owe money to them and fail to appear in court.

A bench warrant was recently issued for a man who was involved in a collision while driving uninsured. The MIBI had to pay a total of €50,000 to a claimant who was struck by his vehicle and secured a judgment against the driver.

He claimed he could not afford the repayments, but following an investigation, the MIBI learned he was a successful businessman.

After several court appearances, he was ordered to sell two cars - including a Mercedes CLA - and to pay monthly instalments of €1,500.

He recently stalled on his payments and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear in court over the outstanding €7,983.

Another warrant was issued for a woman in Cork who was ordered to pay €120-a-month after she was involved in a crash while driving uninsured.

She has missed a total of 53 instalments and has not paid a penny back to the MIBI.

Punishments include having assets seized, mandatory debt repayments, bankruptcy proceedings and the mandatory sale of their home.

The MIBI issued 117 judgments in 2019, compared to just 31 in 2018 and 27 in 2017.

It expects the number of judgments to increase again this year and anticipates raising €4m from uninsured drivers over the next four years.


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