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Published in News on Monday October 29th, 2012

Police investigating a car insurance scam have arrested six more people in connection with their investigation – bringing the total number of arrests to 40.

Officers have made the arrests as part of Operation Dino, which is investigating a ‘cash for crash’ insurance scam – where bogus car crashes are invented and claimed for.

Operation Dino is being jointly carried out by Gwent Police, South Wales Police and the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).

The scam is believed to have operated out of a garage which was known as ‘St David’s Crash Repair’ which then changed name to ‘EASIFIX’. They operated out of the same premises in Pengam, Blackwood, but are no longer trading.

In co-ordinated action across Gwent and South Wales, officers made the six arrests following an investigation into claims referred by insurers and the Insurance Fraud Bureau.

The arrests are the latest stage of the operation which has seen 34 people arrested previously, all of whom remain on police bail.

Detective Chief Inspector Jeremy Rogers, who is heading up Operation Dino, said: “Motor Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime and law abiding motorists pick up the bill for fraudsters. Pre-planned scams cost the motor insurance industry and policyholders millions of pounds every year and our job is to bring those involved to justice.

“These arrests are the latest, but by no means final stage of our operation to dismantle a ‘Crash for cash’ operating in Gwent. We suspect more people were involved and I would urge them to come forward and make contact with Gwent Police before we make contact with them.

“If you suspect anyone of committing insurance fraud, you can report them to the IFB’s free and confidential Cheatline on 0800 422 0421 or online at www.insurancefraudbureau.org/report.”

Ben Fletcher, Head of Operations at the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), said: “These arrests mark a clear statement of intent from both the insurance industry and the police to tackle organised insurance fraud. The IFB continues to work alongside Gwent Police in investigating this criminal network in Wales. Around £50 is added to every premium to cover the costs of fraud, so honest policyholders ultimately pick up the bill for ‘crash for cash’ gangs motivated by greed.

“Unfortunately, ‘crash for cash’ scams are being plotted up and down the country. The IFB is currently managing 36 live Operations with police forces across the UK. The collective value of the scams under investigations tops £60 million. Fraudsters will be caught and will face the full force of the law.”