Fraud chief reveals catalogue of arrests and investigations being pursued.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has 28 investigations in the pipeline and is working with police forces across the country to catch organised fraudsters.

This week, the IFB said that its joint venture with Bedfordshire police had made a total of 40 arrests. Following the operation – codenamed Exhort – and dawn raids in November 2006 which led to 10 arrests, continued investigations supported by the IFB have since led to a further 30 arrests.

Twenty six defendants appeared at Luton Magistrates Court on 17-18 June facing a number of charges, from conspiracy to defraud to perverting the course of Justice. They were released on bail pending further appearances in October.

A further 14 defendants were expected to appear before Luton magistrates’ court on 24th July, after Insurance Times went to press.

John Beadle, chairman of the IFB, said: “We are working with police forces right across the country now – it was patchy to begin with, but is becoming much more consistent, and we are finding that forces we had difficulties with in the past were coming back to us.”

Beadle added that the IFB was constantly reviewing its capacity, but that now would be a difficult time to expand because of the economic downturn.

He also said that negotiations with the Home Office and the ABI over data sharing were continuing, and that the IFB would look to extract data from the new National Fraud Reporting Centre.

‘ John Beadle was one of a panel of expert speakers at Insurance Time’s Question Time on Fraud. See pages 30-32.