Five men arrested over insurance fraud snakebite murder

Suspects allegedly used a snake on a mentally unstable man for insurance money

Five men arrested over insurance fraud snakebite murder

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Five men in India’s Maharashtra state were arrested for allegedly killing a mentally unstable man using a snake bite in order to fake the mastermind’s death and claim US$5 million (SG$6.7 million) in insurance money.

Prabhakar Waghchoure, 54, and his four accomplices were arrested for allegedly conspiring to kill the 50-year-old mentally ill victim and pass off the corpse as Waghchoure’s, the Khaleej Times reported.

The accomplices were identified as Sandip Talekar, Harshad Lahamage, Harish Kulal and Prashant Choudhary.

According to Manoj Patil, police superintendent of Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra, Waghchoure lived with his family in the US for 20 years and held a life insurance policy worth $5 million from an American insurer.

After returning to India in January, Waghchoure allegedly hatched the conspiracy with the accomplices, promising them a cut of the money. The group then allegedly acquired a venomous snake and had it bite the victim. After the victim died, the suspects posed as his relatives and registered the body as Waghchoure’s. They even performed funeral rites for the victim as proof of death.

They sent the death certificate and other documents to the US, where Waghchoure’s son filed the claim. However, the insurer grew suspicious, as Waghchoure had already tried to commit fraud in the past.

The insurer’s investigators contacted Indian police, which then launched in investigation and uncovered the conspiracy, leading to the arrest of the five suspects.

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