NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 3 – Insurance Crime detectives attached to the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) have foiled an attempt to defraud a local insurance company of more than Sh200 million.
In a major breakthrough against insurance claim fraudsters, Insurance Fraud Investigation Unit (IFIU) Detectives, investigating a suspicious claim lodged by a Nairobi businessman are now set to arraign the suspect in court in coming days and are awaiting directions from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).
According to the investigative team, the suspect had lodged a Sh204 million claim with Sanlam General Insurance, purporting that Afroplast Industries based in Thika had lost its manufacturing machines in a fire incident last year.
“Investigations, however established that this was a fraudulent claim, as the machines destroyed in a fire incident in Thika, belonged to a different entity registered as Josmak Company Limited,” IFIU detective Peter Ewoi confirmed, adding that, “We have prepared the necessary files which have been forwarded to the ODPP for direction.”
While welcoming the investigative breakthrough, Sanlam Kenya Group CEO, Patrick Tumbo said the firm has enhanced its Internal fraud management systems to guard against the growing cases of fraudulent claims.
“Fraud is an industry-wide problem that continues to reduce operational profit and erode shareholder returns and we appreciate the support from IFIU,” he said.
“At Sanlam Kenya, we are now vetting claims lodged with us, more stringently to weed out the unscrupulous ones. Vetting is necessary though it may slightly lengthen the period leading to settlement, but we believe this is the price that we must pay to deal with fraudulent claims. We remain committed to ensuring that our customers receive exceptional service,” Tumbo said.
According to the IRA Insurance Industry Report for the period January – March 2019, 30 fraud cases were reported to the Insurance Fraud Investigation Unit (IFIU) in the first quarter of the year. 27 cases are pending investigation, two cases were before court and one is awaiting the arrest of known persons.