Story by Tichaona Kurewa
The Zimbabwe Insurance Crimes Bureau and the Zimbabwe Republic Police have busted an insurance fraud syndicate in Bulawayo leading to the arrest of two suspects.
The two suspects Taboka Maphosa of Harare and Gift Gumbo of Bulawayo both aged 32 are alleged to have hatched a plan to defraud Old Mutual Insurance Company (OMICO).
Allegations are that Maphosa, through a company registered as Jen Technologies, insured a BMW X5 vehicle 2016 model on a comprehensive insurance cover with OMICO.
A few months down the line, the duo allegedly stage managed a road traffic accident along Douglasdale Road, Hillside in Bulawayo, involving the BMW X5 motor vehicle and a Jeep Cherokee which belongs to Gift Gumbo, insured on third party insurance cover with Zimnat Insurance Company.
After stage managing the accident, Maposa claimed that he had failed to negotiate a sharp curve and failed to control his BMW X5 resulting in a head-on collision.
The suspects went on to claim US$80 000 in insurance money from the complainant, thereby causing OMICO to suffer a potential prejudice of the same value.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirm the arrest of two suspects Taboka Maphosa and Gift Gumbo in connection with a case of insurance fraud. The case came to light after the insurance company reported to the police that they suspected fraud involving US$80 000, where the two suspects allegedly masterminded and misrepresented that they had been involved in a head on collision,” said ZRP Bulawayo Province spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube.
The suspects, who are in custody, are expected to appear in court soon.
According to ZICB, more than 20 cases of insurance fraud were recorded last year, with 10 suspects having appeared in court.
Fraudulent claims result in higher loss ratios which force insurance companies to increase their rates to higher premiums.
Higher loss ratios reduce industry profitability.