Seven people were arrested and another three detained for questioning in northern Israel on Monday morning on suspicion of involvement in a massive scheme to defraud insurance agencies of hundreds of millions of shekels by staging fake car accidents.
Police expect to arrest and detain for questioning around 100 people in connection with the scam, Channel 10 news reported.
More than 100 officers from the police anti-fraud squad’s stolen vehicle search unit took part in the early morning sting.
They seized vehicles and forklift trucks which they suspected were being used in the plot.
Those arrested — all from the north of the country, including garage owners and appraisers — were to be brought before the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court in central Israel later in the day.
Police were alerted to the case by insurance agency reports of massive claims.
Officials launched an undercover investigation that lasted several months, during which they discovered that cars were being deliberately damaged to the point that they were no longer roadworthy.
Channel 10 named Ayalon and Phoenix as the insurance companies targeted.