The Ashanti Region police, in a joint operation with the National Insurance Commission (NIC), on Tuesday busted one member of a suspected cartel selling fake insurance stickers upon a tip-off near the Aboabo DVLA Office. The suspect, whose identity has been withheld for investigation purposes, is currently in police custody.
Detective Sergeant Gideon Sellasy Avemegah confirmed the arrest, and indicated that a computer and other exhibits including fake roadworthy certificates, fake motor insurance stickers, and a scan machine were retrieved and confiscated from the suspect.
This development comes after a similar arrest was made on Friday, February 28, 2020, when 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).
Commissioner of Insurance, Justice Ofori, on Tuesday revealed this to the press, saying that despite the introduction of this technology which has replaced the old manual stickers, certain unscrupulous entities and individuals have not relented in their fraudulent ways of perpetrating this phenomenon to the detriment of unsuspecting members of the general public.
He however assured the public that police and the regulator will work together to clamp down on the criminals.
“So far, the Ashanti Region leads in the number of arrests made; and the regulator’s lenses are being zoomed-in to their last pixels across the country in order to fish out these miscreants and rid our roads from the perpetrators of this phenomenon,” he said.
The Motor Insurance Database (MID) as of May 19, 2020, Mr. Ofori said, had a total of 327,948 newly issued electronic stickers.
There are several reports 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.
The Ashanti Region police is on a manhunt for another insurance agent who presented a fake Comfund claim to the Kumasi Area Office.
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.
The Commission had earlier caused the arrest of some perpetrators of illegal motor insurance sticker issuance in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions.
A female insurance agent was recently caught selling fake motor insurance stickers of Prime Insurance Company Limited to members of the general public at the Kumasi DVLA Office premises.
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 Kumasi DVLA Office.
The NIC Motor Insurance Database
The NIC’s Motor Insurance Database (MID) was implemented with effect from January 1, 2020, with the objective of curbing 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 worrisome situation
Mr. Ofori has bemoaned the increasing number of cases, particularly in the Ashanti Region – but is confident that 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 said, adding that they should check the validity of their insurance by using the short code *920*57# and follow the instructions for verification.