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September 21, 2017

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Taipei cabby faces charges of insurance fraud: report

A taxi driver in Taipei has been charged with defrauding dozens of motorists and insurance companies by faking car accidents to claim damages, a report said yesterday.

The cabby, surnamed Cheng, has reported to police and claimed damages from insurance companies for 67 car accidents over the past three years, and sometimes he was involved in two cases in one day, the United Evening News said.

Police were cited as saying Chen received compensation of several thousand New Taiwan dollars in damages from each of the cases reported to the insurance companies.

And it is believed that there have been cases where settlements were made between Cheng and other motorists without the cases being reported to police.

Cheng probably has defrauded about 100 motorists in recent years, the police were cited as saying.

Cheng usually created accidents by speeding up intentionally to hit a car that had just cut in front of him when changing lanes or making a turn, police alleged.

An on-board video recorder captured the entire process so that police and insurance companies would have video-proof that the other party involved in the accident was at fault.

Taipei police received complaints last year accusing Cheng of faking or causing car accidents to defraud motorists and insurance companies.

The police then reviewed all the accident records involving Cheng, and found the same pattern in all of his 67 reported cases, the paper said.

Police interviewed more than 30 motorists from Cheng's cases, and found that his victims included bus drivers and even cabbies from the same taxi company that he belongs to.

Police urged motorists to report car accidents and avoid making private settlements.

Taipei traffic police also noted a rising number of cases of pedestrians faking car accidents in the city's eastern district in order to defraud motorists, according to the United Evening News.

The sums involved may not be much — usually a few hundred NT dollars — but the increasing number of cases is alarming, the police said.

Motorists must immediately call police after having car accidents, the police said. Before the arrival of police, the motorists should use cameras to take pictures or make video recordings of the scene.

They should also use chalk to mark the positions of the cars or injured people, the police said, adding that this information is important for police to determine the cause and who is at fault in the case of an accident.

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