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Insurance fraudster convicted


Story by Tichaona Kurewa

A 49-year-old Bulawayo man has been convicted and fined for insurance fraud after faking a road accident and subsequently claiming compensation from an insurance firm.

According to the Zimbabwe Insurance Crimes Bureau (ZICB), Ndabezinhle Ngoma, a director at Quick Fix Service Centre in Bulawayo, was convicted of insurance fraud and sentenced to a fine of US$600 and a wholly suspended 12 months prison term.

The convicted director is also reported to be a church pastor at one of the churches in Bulawayo.

Circumstances are that on the 8th of June this year, Ngoma drove his Mercedes Benz vehicle along Fife Street Extension, Bulawayo, heading due north.

Ngoma deliberately rammed the vehicle into a direction signpost and a streetlight, thereby causing extensive damage to the front of the vehicle.

The accused reported the stage-managed accident at ZRP Bulawayo Central Traffic and was fined USD$30 for negligent driving.

Pursuant to his plan, Ngoma proceeded to claim from his insurance company, resulting in the firm suffering a potential prejudice of US$10 000.

Legal expert, Mr Tonderai Mutasa said if kept unchecked, insurance fraud can reverse economic gains.

“Insurance companies also invest in properties, and this makes the economy boom. If people make fraudulent claims, it means the insurance money is not being put to good use and it then affects the economy in general. Commercial crimes generally negatively affect the economy as monies go where they are not supposed to be,” said Mr Mutasa.

According to ZICB, more than 20 cases of insurance fraud were recorded last year, with over 10 suspects having appeared in court.