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Claims bonanza halted

9th January 1997, Page 10
9th January 1997
Page 10
Page 10, 9th January 1997 — Claims bonanza halted
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

by Karen Miles • Drivers and hauliers have been stopped from illegally claiming millions of pounds in state benefits since the Government's crack-down on benefit fraud began last year.

The Benefits Agency reports that a series of roadside checks operated jointly with the Vehicle Inspectorate stopped illegal benefit claims estimated to be worth more than £700,000. During Operation Tinstar, last November, more than 3,140 drivers of light goods vehicles were pulled over.

Road haulage is identified as one of the worst sectors in the economy for benefit fraud and has attracted a large number of tip-offs to the agency's benefits hotline.

Cases being investigated include the case of a man claiming benefit for blindness who was allegedly found working as a van driver in south London.

In the six months to 1 October 1996 Benefits Agency staff cut illegal benefits worth £650m. It is estimated illegal claims amount to £3bn a year.

CI An anti-benefit fraud bill currently passing through Parliament will bring in stiffer penalties and give Benefits Agency staff greater powers to detect fraud.


Organisations: Benefits Agency
People: Karen Miles
Locations: London

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