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Alleged victims of robberies and arsons blackmail insurance companies for compensations

15 April 2013 / 18:04:31  GRReporter
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The number of cases of false complaints of crimes has increased by 30% over the past year, which is due to the economic crisis in the country according to the police. "Some people stage arsons and robberies of homes, shops or cars. Others work in a team with criminals or other unscrupulous personas to make nonexistent incidents more real. The purpose of all of them is to obtain insurance or any other compensations," a senior police official states for To Vima.

In the majority of cases, the fraudsters report arsons or thefts of jeeps and other luxury cars. According to investigators, "the owners hide them under tarpaulins in forest areas, in public parking lots or at friends’ houses and then complain that they have been stolen. Many of them get in touch with employees of small garages to establish contact with people who are ready to hide, sell or burn the expensive cars. In the case of arson, the insurers pay the compensation immediately, whereas in the case of theft, the payment takes three months. Recently, we had found in Aspropyrgos a burnt jeep worth 70,000 euro, whose owner had reported it stolen. The investigation revealed that he had sold the tape, the electronic control and the seats of the jeep first and then "assigned" to three people the task of burning it. We found out what he had done after a long chase and with the assistance of a detective." They argue that many of the stolen cars are sold in Greece’s neighbouring countries after an arrangement with their owners.

Indicative is the case of a woman, aged 50. Within a very short period of time, she stated that she had had five cars stolen, which she had acquired gradually. "She always gives clear evidence of the car’s whereabouts and how it was stolen. Although it is obviously a fraud, the actions of her partners are crucial and it is very difficult to prove that the woman stages the events," policemen say.

According to them, the crisis is the reason for the owners of cars with serious damage to state that their cars have been stolen. The aim is to obtain compensation for theft, as it is not payable when the damage is due to a clash with a pillar or plunge over a precipice.

The investigators have even found that in some cases, their familiar traffic policemen support them. The owners use false documents to prove that the condition of the crashed cars was excellent before the theft.

The number of cases of "unexplained" fires in shops has also increased. Similar was the case of a fire at a restaurant in the tourist neighbourhood of Psiri in the centre of Athens a year ago. It was initially assumed that criminals had caused the arson.

It turned out in the course of the investigation, however, that during the arson, in the hours after midnight, all the doors of the restaurant had been unlocked. In addition, it became clear that a few days earlier, the insurance company had informed the owners that it would not renew the insurance in the event of fire because of the improper functioning of the restaurant. So, the flames got ahead of the changes in the insurance contract.

Similar were the developments connected with a fire at a large company, which was originally described as an "incident." Then it became clear that before the fire, unknown persons had entered the site and put tows soaked with gasoline in different places.

There are some suspicious complaints of thefts and robberies in homes as well. "In some cases, the complaints are very inaccurate and in others, the victims dramatically increase the list of the stolen items. Some people had said that the thieves had stolen their home appliances but it turned out later that they had stolen an amount of between 300 and 500 euro. Things get more complicated when the robberies occur in the basements of houses of flats. The majority of victims say whatever they think of. An owner of a flat in the centre of Athens had said that the robbers had stolen seven tons of olive oil from his basement and he wanted compensation for them," state the investigating agencies.

Tags: Crime newsRobberiesArsonsVictimsCompensationsInsuring companies
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