In recent developments and further to earlier arrests in September 2011 of a fraud syndicate, the main accused, Desmond Pillay, was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment on the 10 September 2012. The co-accused, Bruce Pillay and Devon Pillay, were also successfully tried and sentenced in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on the 18 May 2012.
On 21 September 2011, nine arrests were made by members from the Port Shepstone DPCI: Organised Crime unit and South African Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB), for Fraud. The syndicate comprising of members from the same family, who were operating in the Escort and Phoenix areas, were exposed as a result of intensive investigation by SAPS, SAICB and the assistance of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The accused bought vehicles from salvage yards from one of the syndicate family members and then the vehicles were registered in the names of other members of the syndicate in order to “create a record” for the vehicle. Corrupt officials assisted to register the vehicles which were not roadworthy. These vehicles were insured at various insurers (SAICB members) and accidents were staged with the syndicate members which resulted in multiple claims submitted. The industry’s loss amounts to approximately R2.1 million.
“Operation Facelift” which was launched on the 21 September 2011 was successfully concluded on the 10 September 2012 by effective policing and investigative conduct of the Port Shepstone DPCI: Organised Crime unit and South African Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB).
Hugo van Zyl, Chief Operating Officer of SAICB, is pleased with the investigation. He is particularly proud of the co-operation between the SAPS, SAICB and the NPA which resulted in the positive results for the short term insurance industry.