Cars, cash, imitation gun seized during raids targeting Dublin car insurance scam

Gardaí freeze six bank accounts, arrest man in operation against ‘ghost’ broker scam

Gardaí have frozen six bank accounts, seized a large amount of cash and arrested one man during raids against a car insurance “ghost” broker scam.

The operation in west Dublin was targeted as an organised ring is suspected of selling fake insurance policies over the phone to motorists.

As well as the large amount of cash found, gardaí also seized high luxury watches, five vehicles, an imitation firearm and a small quantity of drugs.

A total of six bank accounts were also frozen, containing a total of €200,000.

The Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) was involved in the raids, and it has begun the legal process of realising the value of the assets for the State.

A suspect in his mid-30s was arrested on Wednesday. He was being held under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at Ronanstown Garda station, Co Dublin.

The operation, which continued with follow-up searches today, is headed by the Special Investigation Unit, Dublin Metropolitan Region, assisted by members of the Cab and the Cyber Crime Unit.

The move against the suspects follows a warning to motorists from the Garda back in July about so-called ghost brokers. These brokers present to customers, usually over the phone, as middle men who claim they can purchase insurance for clients and save them money.

The Garda said insurance policies were being purchased from legitimate companies using false information and then changed before being sold on to customers.

Fake policy documents designed to look like they have been issued by legitimate insurance companies are created and sold on to customers, usually for about €300-€500.

Proposal forms are put through a third party before submission to a legitimate insurance company.

The net effect of this is that the purchaser has not purchased a valid certificate of insurance. The purchaser has no motor insurance and is liable for any damage caused or offence committed as a result.