Several firms suspected of encouraging bogus holiday sickness compensation have been hit in a government clampdown.

Ministry of Justice officers swooped on the premises of cowboy companies and found 34 unlicensed firms fuelling a surge in the number of fake claims being made by British holidaymakers.

The industry watchdog issued six warnings, started two investigations and removed the websites of six claims management companies.

The body also found evidence of solicitors carrying out malpractice and has shared its findings with the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Mail on Sunday reported.

More than 40 other firms offering no-win, no-fee services were also issued with “compliance advice”.

Abta public affairs director Alan Wardle said: “While it’s great this action has been taken, we need to make sure the owners of these companies cannot simply set up shop again and carry on as before.”

New figures reveal that last summer UK holidaymakers submitted almost 4,000 sickness claims compared with only 114 from Germans.

The figures are based on 750,000 British holidaymakers and 800,000 Germans, according to the newspaper. Scandinavians submitted 39 claims for 375,000 holidaymakers.

Prime minister Theresa May plans to cap the legal costs that can be made to claims firms.

Justice secretary David Lidington said earlier this month: “Our message to those who make false holiday sickness claims is clear – your actions are damaging and will not be tolerated.

“We are addressing this issue and will continue to explore further steps. This government is determined to tackle the compensation culture which has penalised the honest majority for too long.”

Select Representation 100% supports Travel Weekly’s fight against fake holiday sickness claims.