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Seven arrested in ‘Cash for Crashes’ scam

Seven fraudsters have been arrested for staging bogus bus crashes to claim insurance money.

Crashed Car

The men were arrested in police raids after an 18-month investigation into the ‘Cash for Crashes’ scam, in which fraudsters fake road crashes by driving their vehicles into buses, to cause enough damage to warrant an injury.

A team of 30 officers carried out searches for evidence at more than 10 addresses across Chester, Ellesmere Port, Frodsham and North Wales, with six men and one woman being detained in custody on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud.

£1m fraudulent insurance claims

The investigation, dubbed ‘Operation Badewell’ was launched after more than £1m of fraudulent insurance claims followed a number of suspicious bus crashes in Chester over the past 18 months.

Police suspect the incidents were orchestrated by an organised crime ring in the area and said this sort of scam causes insurance premiums to rise for every individual each year.

On one occasion, one of the suspects is said to have driven her Ford Focus into the side of a First bus on Cliveden Road in Saltney, which led to the driver of the bus also claiming compensation for the smash.

Thirty six passengers injured

Another caused 36 passengers of a Park and Ride bus to pursue personal injury claims when he drove his Audi TT into the side of it last year.

Detective Inspector Gwyn Dodd from Cheshire Police, who has been part of the team working on the investigation, said: “We are pleased with the success of today’s operation which shows our commitment to investigating those who are suspected of involving themselves in insurance fraud and scams which have repercussions for the insurance premiums of motorists and could result in serious injury to innocent members of the public.”

For further information visit the Cheshire Police website.

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