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IFB celebrates its 10th anniversary

15 July 2016

  • ‘Ground-breaking’ & ‘unique’: 1,180+ arrests since its inception and currently managing 133 complex organised fraud investigations.
  • IFB announces extension of contract for ‘cutting-edge’ NetReveal product.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has marked its 10th anniversary with an evening reception in London. Over 140 guests, including former Board members, key stakeholders and staff gathered at Stationers Hall on Ave Maria Lane to celebrate a decade of achievement.

The IFB was established in 2006 to spearhead the insurance industry’s response to organised motor insurance fraud, specifically ‘crash for cash’. From humble beginnings, where just five members of staff were employed to establish an operating model, the IFB now manages 133 highly-complex, organised fraud investigations.

Using cutting-edge technology to analyse bulk insurance data, the IFB issues over 1,800 intelligence alerts a year to insurers and brokers, supporting significant fraud savings in claims repudiations and policy cancellations. As a ‘go to’ organisation for law enforcement and regulators, the IFB has contributed to 1,181 arrests and 442 convictions since 2006. 

IFB in numbers:

  • Access to 104 million insurance documents featuring over 1.3 billion entities.

  • 400+ reports of fraud received from public every month via IFB’s Cheatline.

  • 1,181 arrests of suspected fraudsters.

  • 442 convictions and 397 years in prison for organised fraudsters.

John Beadle, UK Head of Financial Crime and Counter Fraud at RSA and the IFB’s first Chair, said: “The IFB broke new ground for the insurance industry – a sector which needed to collaborate to fight a common and emerging threat in organised motor fraud. The IFB is truly unique with its access to industry-wide bulk data, the application of sophisticated fraud technology and its not-for-profit governance.

“It commands a position from which it can detect organised fraud across the market that would otherwise not be identified by individual insurers. I am therefore immensely proud of having been involved, with a number of my industry colleagues, in the formation of the IFB a decade ago.”

IFB landmark cases:

  • 1st INVESTIGATION – Operation Crow (Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire Police)

In its first investigation, the IFB supported Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Police bring the perpetrators of a £3 million+ ‘crash for cash’ scam to justice. The Hertfordshire Police investigation focused on the Gul family, whilst Bedfordshire Police were investigating two brothers, Kamsan Mahmood and Istafa Hussain. Having established links between the two enquiries, the collaboration concluded with over 50 arrests and in excess of 30 years being handed down in custodial sentences.

  • LONGEST PRISON SENTENCE – Operation Saisir (Metropolitan Police)

The IFB helped secure its longest custodial sentence for a ‘crash for cash’ fraudster to date in 2012, when Masi Naqshbandi received 7 years and 3 months in prison for conspiracy to defraud. Using his claims management company (CMC), Real Accident Helpline, as a legitimate front, Naqshbandi and his accomplice Sabaoon Hillaman (jailed for 4 years and 10 months) submitted over 250 fraudulent claims for staged and contrived incidents between 2007 and 2008. With an estimated £6.5 million exposure to the insurance industry, Naqshbandi and Hillaman funded a lavish lifestyle of 7* hotels in Dubai and prestige vehicles before their arrests in 2008.

  • MOST ARRESTS/CONVICTIONS – Operation Dino (Gwent Police)

87 people were charged and over 60 years of prison sentences secured for a large-scale ‘crash for cash’ gang operating in South Wales. Working alongside Gwent Police, the investigation focused on the notorious Yandell family, who operated Easifix Garage in Pengam. In addition to custodial sentences, the Operation secured 8,140 hours of community service and 479 months of suspended sentences.

  • 1st GHOST BROKER INVESTIGATION – Operation Beech Box (HMRC)

In partnership with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the IFB secured convictions against Elina Jacksone (received 5 years in prison) and Gagik Manucharyan (received 5 years and 2 months in prison) for selling fake car insurance. Offering cut price deals by using fake details to secure cheaper premiums, the Cypriot couple made over £920,000 in 7 years and owed the Inland Revenue £340,000. The judge ruled that the pair be deported upon completion of their prison sentences.

  • 1st NON-MOTOR INVESTIGATION – Operation Flash (Lancashire Police)

Munsif Dad and his two sons, Nadeem and Amer, were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering at Burnley Crown Court in 2010. 39 months of prison sentences were secured after a joint IFB / Lancashire Police investigation into organised household insurance fraud. The Dad family submitted bogus claims including repeated storm and perimeter wall damage claims across their portfolio of properties in Nelson, often assuming the identities of tenants and forging invoices for repair work.

‘New era’

Following a strategic review in 2014, the Bureau’s 2020 Vision will see the IFB extend its organised fraud detection remit into new product lines, prioritising liability and property. In addition, the IFB has been tasked to establish consistent and compliant intelligence sharing infrastructure across the insurance industry.

BAE Systems contract extension

At the evening reception Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB, announced the extension of the Bureau’s key contract with BAE Systems for NetReveal – the system utilised by the IFB to analyse bulk insurance data to identify organised fraud rings. The new contract extension will see the IFB partnering with BAE Systems until 2020. NetReveal will be upgraded to offer enhanced functionality and to detect organised fraud networks in new product lines, a significant step in achieving the IFB’s strategic vision.

George Robbins, VP EMEA for Commercial Solutions at BAE Systems, said: “The IFB has been a key strategic partner for BAE Systems over the past decade. The NetReveal product, which is widely adopted across the sector and worldwide, was developed for the insurance industry based on the IFB model. As such, we look forward to continuing our successful partnership with the IFB over the coming years, helping the industry to widen its influence in tackling fraud across product lines.”