Cyprus Mail
Crime

Eight in court for remand concerning auto insurance scam (Updated)

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Eight people including two doctors and a physiotherapist appeared in Limassol court Thursday in connection with what police describe as a staged car accident which took place in Paphos early last year.

Police, following a complaint from an insurance company, are investigating offences including attempt to obtain goods or services under false pretences, forgery and circulation of forged documents, as well as related conspiracy charges. Claims of over €43,000 were made in March 2015 which were not accepted by the insurance company.

The company based its complaint on the findings of a study carried out by a road collision expert which concluded that the accident involving two vehicles on January 6, 2015, appeared to have been staged.

Testimony implicating eleven people was secured by investigators prompting the arrests of ten on Wednesday. One of the suspects is abroad and police said they released two women on health grounds, one of them being heavily pregnant.

The police requested an eight-day remand order, the suspects were represented by five lawyers which dragged out the proceedings to the point where it was decided to complete the process on Friday, with all held in custody till then.

The court heard that a couple and their two children were travelling in the one car involved while the other contained a driver, co-driver and two foreign women. Police were not called to the scene of the purported accident.

Investigations brought to light the fact that the two drivers involved in were both panel beaters by trade who had a history of allegations of similar offences, and who used to cooperate together professionally.

Police told the court that nothing justified the claims made by those involved, “The specific accident never took place and the dents on the vehicles did not justify the damages those involved are claiming,“ the investigating officer told the court, saying that according to the expert’s report, the dents produced were caused before the supposed collision.

Police are continuing investigations in an attempt to find out if the suspects and the two retired public sector doctors, aged 78 and 72, as well as the physiotherapist were involved in any other similar cases.

The three are pleading ignorance, while their findings concerning the injuries are not supported by medical reports or x-rays and no records of any appointments supposedly attended by those being treated were found at the surgeries of the doctors or the physio.

The eight who appeared before the court were the driver of one of the vehicle and his two adult children present at the alleged accident, and from the second vehicle the front passenger and one other, with two orthopaedic doctors and a physiotherapist. The driver of the second vehicle is the man still wanted, believed to be abroad.

 

 

 

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