IFED debriefs insurers on commercial property fraud

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The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) hosted the force’s first ever industry debrief event last month, focused on the unit’s biggest case of commercial property fraud.

The one-day debrief was held at the West Midlands Police Museum  and saw IFED joined by various members of the insurance industry, many of which were involved in the case. They included insurers, loss adjusters, brokers, regulators, forensic experts and speech analysts.

Attendees were given background information on IFED’s investigation, an overview of the techniques used by the organised crime group in carrying out the fraud, and an indication of how the insurance industry can prevent such fraud being committed in the future.

Detective inspector Lara Xenoudakis of IFED said: “We’re proud to be the first unit in the City of London Police to deliver an event like this. As well as sharing the good work from the investigation, we were able to highlight some areas of best practice and learning to be taken forward.”

“We’re delighted with the feedback we have received from this debrief. Events such as this will form a key part of our strategy going forward, and help to avert instances of this type of fraud from happening again.”

The investigation discussed at the event focused on a North London organised crime group who defrauded insurers out of more than £1 million. It concluded in November 2018, with the group receiving prison sentences.

The case was first referred to IFED by Zurich. Following the unit’s subsequent investigation, it was discovered that the group had targeted 14 different insurers with fraudulent claims of property damage and loss of earnings at multiple bars and restaurants across England.

Detective constable Daniel Dankoff, who led the investigation for IFED, said: “The crime group used a complex set of tactics to try and remain undetected and defraud numerous members of the insurance and banking industries for several years.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk