The Ashanti Regional Police in a joint operation with the National Insurance Commission (NIC), on Tuesday May 19, 2020, arrested a member of a suspected cartel that produces fake insurance stickers in Kumasi.
The arrest was based upon a tip-off near the Aboabo DVLA Office. The suspect (name withheld), is currently in the custody of the Police awaiting the commencement of investigations.
According to the Investigator, Detective Sergeant Gideon Sellasy Avemegah, the outcome of the investigations will be made public later. A computer and other exhibits including fake roadworthy certificates and a fake motor insurance sticker were confiscated by the Police.
As of the time of going to the press, the suspect was in the custody of the Kumasi Central Police and would assist in investigations.
Ashanti Regional Manager for the National Insurance Commission, Kofi Baffour Sencherey, spoke to Citi Business News, after the exercise.
“We are the institution that prints out stickers to the insurance companies to sell out to the public. But we had some information that there were some guys who were dealing in fake insurance stickers, fake road worthy stickers and even printing vehicle number plates. So, we had to begin an investigation to find out the truth of the matter,” he said.
“We brought the police here to cause the arrest of those people. And fortunately we had one of the guys who was having a road worthy certificate. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get any evidence of stickers and we believe that maybe they got wind of the information and run away. Fortunately, we had one so we believe the police will take it up and investigate further,” he added.
On Friday February 28, 2020, the Kumasi Police busted a known Insurance Agent, 72-year old Nana Kodua Marfoh for submitting fake documents to the Kumasi Area Office of the National Insurance Commission (NIC) in an attempt to access the motor Compensation Fund (Comfund).
The arrest was caused at the instance of the Kumasi Area Manager of the NIC upon submission of the fake documents. The case is currently being investigated by the Police.
This was revealed by the Commissioner of Insurance while commenting on the latest arrest in Kumasi on Tuesday May 19, 2020. In updating the media and the public on the Motor Insurance Database (MID), Mr. Ofori indicated that as of May 19, 2020, a total of 327,948 newly issued electronic stickers had already been captured on the NIC’s MID portal since its implementation in January this year.
Mr. Justice Ofori, the Commissioner of Insurance, however, lamented that “In spite of the introduction of the MID with electronic stickers which have come to replace the old manual stickers, certain unscrupulous entities and individuals have not relented in their fictitious ways of perpetrating this phenomenon to the detriment of unsuspecting members of the general public.”
“So far, the Ashanti Region leads in the number of arrests made and the lenses of the Regulator are being zoomed in to their last pixels across the country in order to fish out these miscreants to rid our roads off the perpetrators of this phenomenon”, he declared.
Unconfirmed reports also have it that some unscrupulous Insurance Agents are still issuing old manual insurance stickers which have ceased to be valid since January 20, 2020, and backdating them in order to circumvent the MID platform.
In a similar fashion, an Agent took to his heels after presenting a fake Comfund claim to the Kumasi Area Office and is still on the run.
Another suspect, a lawyer, was recently issued a warning letter by the NIC after it was detected that he had been issuing affidavits with different information on different victims of the same accident so as to access the Comfund.
It will be recalled that the Commission had earlier caused the arrest of some perpetrators of illegal issuance of motor insurance stickers in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions.
A female Insurance Agent who sells Motor Insurance for Loyalty Insurance was caught issuing fake insurance stickers of PRIME INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED to members of the general public at the premises of the Kumasi DVLA Office.
In a similar fashion, two Agents of MILLENNIUM INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED have also been arrested for possessing fake ALLIANZ INSURANCE sticker booklets also at the premises of the same Kumasi DVLA Office.
The above mentioned cases are all under investigation.
The NIC Motor Insurance Database
The NIC’s Motor Insurance Database (MID) was implemented with effect from January 1, 2020 with the objective to curb the menace of some unscrupulous persons issuing fake motor insurance to unsuspecting members of the general public thus endangering lives and property. The reality dawns on these motorists only when involved in accidents and innocent third party victims of such accidents are left to take care of themselves without any compensation.
A worrying situation
Mr. Justice Ofori described the situation particularly in the Ashanti Region as worrisome, but was confident that the introduction of the MID and enforcement by the Police MTTD, will largely nip this phenomenon in the bud in order to protect innocent third parties and policyholders as well.
“The fight by the NIC to eliminate fake motor insurance continues”, he added, assuring the general publicand encouraging them to check the validity of their insurances using the short code *920*57#.
It is estimated that the insurance sector might have lost at least GHS325 million to fraudsters and fake insurance operators in 2018 alone.