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Insurers on the lookout for staged car accidents

Clampdown on fraud leads to more cases being referred to police for investigation

Published on May 24, 2014 8:40 AM

In the last two months, five people have been jailed and at least six more are due to appear in court over their alleged involvement in staged road accidents.

It follows a clampdown by insurers who have set up special investigation units in a bid to slash fraudulent insurance claims which have totalled more than $140 million annually for the past three years. They were initiated by the Insurance Fraud Committee of the General Insurance Association (GIA), whose members flag up suspect claims.

GIA executive director Derek Teo told The Straits Times: "As these spurious claims are now on the insurers' radar, more cases have been referred to the police for further investigation."

Tell-tale signs include the time and place of a reported accident. If, for example, it was in a remote part of Singapore like Sungei Tengah and took place in the wee hours of the morning, it would raise suspicion, a source close to the investigations said.

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Background story


The masterminds of these accidents are often owners of car workshops. Some are also responsible for inducing road accidents on public roads during peak hours. They would arrange for a driver to brake his car suddenly, causing a chain collision involving other vehicles.

- "Joseph", whose real name cannot be used as he is assisting with Commercial Affairs Department investigations. He has been involved in more than five staged road accidents here after being sucked in by the lure of "fast cash"