Wales

86 charged in 'crash for cash' probe by Gwent Police

A total of 86 people have been charged in relation to an alleged insurance scam in Caerphilly county.

Charges include fraud against insurance firms, conspiracy to steal vehicles and money laundering, said Gwent Police.

Those charged, from Caerphilly county, Cardiff and Pontypridd, will appear before Cwmbran magistrates next week.

Gwent Police said it followed a two-year investigation into a "crash for cash" scheme - where accidents are staged to defraud insurance companies.

The force said the inquiry, called Operation Dino, is into allegations relating to a garage known as both St David's Crash Repair and Easifix, which was based in Pengam, Blackwood.

The Dino team was established in 2011 using officers from several different departments of the force to specifically investigate suspected "crash for cash" insurance frauds.

Det Sgt Andy Cullen said: "A team of officers and detectives have been investigating this sophisticated 'crash for cash scheme' alongside the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) for more than two years, and this has led to the arrest and charge of these 86 individuals."

Those charged range in age from 24 to 71, with most from the Gwent valleys, 13 from Cardiff and three from Pontypridd.

The force said any suspicions of insurance fraud can be reported to the police on 101 or reported to the free and confidential IFB Cheatline on 0800 422 0421, or online

The IFB said this was one of the largest investigations it had held into "crash for cash" and the full monetary value was still being assessed.

Overall in the UK, it estimates the annual cost of "crash for cash" fraud is £392m a year, with one in seven personal injury claims linked to suspected scams.

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