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The Insurance Crime Bureau - News & Views...Murder, Theft, Fraud & Corruption...

25 July 2017The Insurance Crime Bureau

The Insurance Crime Bureau recently received information as regards to a number of what appeared to be “simple un-natural death” claims.

Some of the facts uncovered in the resulting investigation were:

• The claims all related to deaths between November 2016 and March 2017, in and around Pietermaritzburg.
• The cause of death varied, including numerous hit & runs and drownings.
• There were a number of different “unrelated claimants” involved in the scheme.
• Through investigation it was proved that some of the deceased had in fact passed away at a date prior to the reported accident, and the initial claim had been for natural causes.
• It was then discovered that in order to stage an “accident or drowning” the syndicate were killing innocent individuals to claim the benefit under the policy.
• One if the informants interviewed even admitted that she was paid R 5000 to identify a strangers body as that of her brother.
• The syndicate involved targets funeral homes, and multiple insurance companies.
• They are sophisticated team, and have even falsified police reports.
• They will source individuals with the same surname as the deceased, to assist in the identification of the bodies.
• The group has cultivated connections within SAPS to assist in the fraud.
• One of the “claimants” is even employed at the DOH.

The case has subsequently been referred by The Insurance Crime Bureau to the Head of the DPCI in Pietermaritzburg for a joint investigation, and ultimately prosecution.

To-date the joint investigation, using information gleaned from the Industry, has linked 5 key individuals, hitting 11 Insurance companies. The suspects have been charged with Murder, Theft, Fraud, Corruption, Defeating the ends of Justice, and Money Laundering.

This investigation is ongoing, and again merely one example of this modus operandi…..we have a number of instances where similar circumstances exist, where people are being brutally murdered for policy benefits.

We need to work together as an Industry, and we need wider support, acceptance and involvement from specifically the Life & Funeral Industry as regards combatting this issue.

Quick Polls

QUESTION

The FSB is thinking of scrapping Level II Regulatory Exam (which would have tested product knowledge) in favour of an approach that forces insurers to train staff and monitor their actions. Do you agree with this approach?

ANSWER

Yes. The Level II Regulatory Exams were a massive headache for those who had to write them
No. At least with the exams you knew who were the top achievers. A lot of trust now needs to be given to insurers.
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