History of the Case:
An investigator from the SAICB received a tip-off with information that an individual submitted a false claim for a Laptop and camera with approximate value R17 700.00, that was stolen when his vehicle was broken into.
The ID number that was used in the claim did not match the person claiming, the claim and the bank account that were used were found to have been used for various other claims by various other individuals as well. On 6 July 2011 an operation meeting with the Organised Crime Unit of Germiston and members from SAICB was held in Pretoria to arrest the target.
The target was contacted to arrange for the delivery of a gift voucher by courier. Members from the OCU acted as delivery agents and members from SAICB were in the backup team. The target arrived and was identified by members of SAICB and he was arrested. The cell phone number that was used by the target was contacted and the phone was not with the target and he did not want to inform the where his vehicle was parked.
On the way to his residential address the vehicle was spotted and a search was conducted and a cell phone was confiscated, this was not the cell phone that the target had used to contact the team. The team then moved to the targets residential address, at this address the cell phone was found that was used to contact the members from OCU. This phone was hidden in a box in his bedroom. A search and seizure was conducted and the following items, inter alia were confiscated:
38 cell phones; 50 sim cards; 4 laptops; ID documents for 69 persons identified in the investigation;letters to different banks giving the target permission to use the bank accounts; 150 Policy documents to date; invoices and quotes. There were policy documents found from a member company in unopened mail, in the name of another alias used by the target. It is clear that further policies and claims will be identified as boxes full of exhibits were confiscated.
The suspect used unsuspecting valid peoples ID numbers and opened insurance policies in their names with the same bank accounts and PO Box numbers. After investigation it was found that the risk addresses that were used did not exist. He phoned the insurance company and lodged a claim and when the assessor tried to contact him to assess the claim they would not be able to get a hold of him. He would phone after a month and berate them for the slow service, the claim was then settled expeditiously.
The search and seizure and subsequent investigation revealed that the suspect had moved from the modus operandi described to cell phone fraud. The suspect bought cell phones from one company and insured them through the shop the phone was bought from. He then lodged a claim and returned to the original store asking to be paid cash for the phone as he had already replaced the missing / damaged phone.
The suspect produced invoices for the same phones bought from another supplier on multiple claims.
Cameras, smartphones, laptops and tablets such as the iPad have become the target of many thieves and fraudster. For more on camera insurance , also view: