Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Call centre manager arrested over British insurance scam

ARREST : Call centre manager arrested over British insurance scam

By Aislinn Simpson

20 Jan 2009


The manager of an Indian call centre handling the insurance details of hundreds of British customers has been arrested over fears of a major scam, according to police.

According to the police, Edward Burns, an Indian citizen, was working in the insurance claims division of Delhi-based EXL, which handled British insurance firm Aviva, the parent company of Norwich Union.

The 30-year-old is feared to have been using identities of British insurance customers to make false claims for up to two years.

He has admitted siphoning off nearly £57,000 to bank accounts in Britain but this is only in relation to 12 customers and police believe the scam could be much larger.

They also fear that other British firms who hold accounts with EXL may have been affected.

The local head of police, Ashok Kumar Chaturvedi, said police also plan to interrogate three people thought to be accomplices of Mr Burns in Britain.

He said: "As this has been going on for two years, we suspect a much bigger financial fraud to British customers."

It is not yet clear how Mr Burns is alleged to have perpetrated the fraud, but it is understood that police believe his accomplices in Britain would collect the insurance payout and take a cut out to him in India.

EXL Service has played down the scale of the alleged scam, saying it was a "small-scale isolated incident".

A spokesman for Aviva said: "We can confirm that, through our own control mechanisms, we have discovered an isolated case of fraud by an employee of one of our supplier partners. We are currently working with the local authorities to take the appropriate action. At no time was any policy holders' money at risk."

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