herald

Sunday 25 August 2019

Offices and homes raided in swoop on 'fraudster family'

Det Chief Supt Pat Lordan
Det Chief Supt Pat Lordan

Detectives have raided solicitors' offices and private homes in a major probe into a Dublin family suspected of more than 20 bogus insurance scams.

The family are being investigated by several garda units after thousands of euro were paid out in claims.

It is suspected they have been involved in highly organised fraud going back several years - mainly personal-injury claims from slips and falls.

Yesterday detectives with the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB), assisted by the Cab and Armed Support Unit, carried out searches in west Dublin.

Six high-end cars and jewellery valued at more than €300,000 were seized, along with documentation and financial records.

Payment has already been made in some of more than 20 cases involving the family, who have submitted multiple claims using false identities.

Det Chief Supt Pat Lordan, head of the GNECB, told the Herald that individuals as well as criminal gangs were being investigated for fraud.

"We treat it as a serious crime and over the last number of years have been carrying out investigations into a number of organised crime groups.

"That culminated in the operation - four houses and solicitors' offices were searched under warrant. There is a lot of money being falsely claimed by way of insurance fraud. In some cases money has been paid out - but that doesn't stop us investigating the claim."

Det Chief Supt Lordan added that Operation Coatee was a joint initiative involving various garda agencies working with district and divisional units to stop insurance fraud.

Bogus

The national units involved in yesterday's searches were also helped by officers attached to Lucan Garda Station.

Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll, of Special Crime Operations, said efforts were ongoing to target assets where bogus insurance claims had been paid out.

"An Garda Siochana is determined to identify those making bogus claims and to maximise its potential to initiate prosecution," he said.

"Where financial gain has already been achieved, An Garda Siochana will utilise legislation to identify relevant assets and target them for seizure."

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