Arrestsfollowingmajorinsurancefraudinvestigations by QSKwBT


									n e w s r e l e a s e
                                                                                                            April 17, 2007

 A FURTHER four people were arrested today (Tuesday April 17) as part of Hertfordshire
 Constabulary’s ongoing major investigation into ‘cash for crash’ fraud offences. A further
 arrest is expected later today.

 The investigation by the Force’s Serious and Organised Crime Group has focussed on an
 organised criminal enterprise, which is believed to be staging motor vehicle accidents and
 conspiring to defraud insurance companies.

 Police attended a total of four addresses in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and London. Four
 people have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud insurance companies.

 The arrests are the second phase of a 14 month investigation, which has also involved
 investigators from the Insurance Fraud Bureau. Codenamed Operation Mysterious, a team of
 specialist detectives within Hertfordshire Constabulary began an investigation following
 information received from the insurance industry.

 During phase one of Operation Mysterious (November 2006) nine people were arrested
 including drivers, a vehicle recovery agent and an insurance vehicle examiner. On the
 advice of the Crown Prosecution Service they have been charged with conspiracy to
 defraud insurance companies and currently await trial.

 To date assets estimated to be in excess of £2 million have been identified.

 Commenting on the latest phase of Operation Mysterious, DCI John Chapman said: “This is
 the latest phase of a complex investigation by Hertfordshire Constabulary into staged
 accidents and fraudulent motor insurance claims. We have continued to work closely with
 our partners in the insurance industry as well as the Crown Prosecution Service.

 “This is a developing crime type that members of the public may not be aware of and has
 the potential to net criminal’s large amounts of money. The consequences of this are that
 insurance premiums are inflated and money is laundered to fund other serious types of

 John Beadle, Chairman of the Insurance Fraud Bureau said: “The success of this operation
 sends a very clear message to those criminals involved in this type of crime – the insurance
 industry is no longer an easy touch, we know who you are and we will continue to work

                                              Issued by Corporate Communication
                  Hertfordshire Constabulary, Stanborough Road, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire AL8 6XF
                        Tel: 0845 33 00 222 • Direct fax: 01707 354589 • Media line: 0871 550 3003

                                                      Page 1 of 2
closely with our colleagues in the police to bring you to justice.

We know these criminal gangs target honest motorists and are ruthless. Innocent lives are
being put at risk. Through this partnership approach with the Police we will continue to find,
expose and pursue those criminal gangs involved in organised insurance fraud and thereby
minimise harm to the public.”

The IFB runs a free and confidential helpline which members of the public are urged to call if
they have any information on staged motor accidents or other types of insurance fraud. The
number is 0800 328 2550.

The four people arrested are currently being questioned at police stations across the


Note to Editors: The IFB was launched in July 2006, to clamp down on organised, cross-
industry insurance fraud in order to protect honest policyholders. Fraud costs the insurance
industry over £1.5billion a year and adds 5% to premiums. Criminal gangs organising complex
scams are earning up to £4 million a week from organised insurance fraud and frequently use
the proceeds to fund other forms of criminality.

Via the IFB, the insurance industry is working collaboratively to detect and expose these
criminal gangs; 97% of the UK’s personal lines insurers are participants in the IFB service. The
Bureau analyses the details of insurance policies and claims records of all insurer members to
identify suspicious activity. It then leads or co-ordinates investigations with the effected
insurers and police to expose fraudsters and bring them to justice, recovering fraudulent
monies paid out and seeking criminal prosecution.

For further information visit

For further media enquiries about the IFB please contact:
Anne Staunton / Nicky Godfrey
Peak Marketing and Communication Services
0845 056 0534 /
For more information log on to

For further information regarding Operation Mysterious please contact Nikki Royall or Rachel
Hyde in Corporate Communication on 01707 354588.

                                            Issued by Corporate Communications
                 Hertfordshire Constabulary, Stanborough Road, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire AL8 6XF
                        Tel: 01707 354588 • Direct fax: 01707 354589 • Media line: 07626 934068

                                                     Page 2 of 2

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