Thane: Six persons, including two doctors and a civic-run crematorium employee, were arrested in Thane in Maharashtra for allegedly creating fake death certificates to claim insurance, police said Sunday.
Senior Inspector Sanju John of Thane Police’s Crime Branch identified the main accused as Kalyan-resident Chandrakant Narasimulu Shinde and said the latter had claimed at least Rs 81 lakh from private insurance firms using such forged death certificates.
“Shinde first got in touch with Tejpal Ramveer Mehrol, an employee at the Mumbra civic crematorium. Mehrol managed to get fake death certificates from Abdul Mohid Siddiqui and Imran Siddiqui, two doctors operating from Mumbra,” John said.
“The two doctors have issued 13 death certificates in this manner, including 10 in the names of people who are alive and residing in Andhra Pradesh,” the official said.
How fake-death-for-insurance racket operated
“Shinde started this racket after he managed to obtain the life insurance payout of some relatives who were still alive. This emboldened him. Our probe shows he obtained Rs 81 lakh worth of claims and was in the process of filing for another Rs 55 lakh,” John said.
He said two of Shinde’s relatives, identified as Laxmi Shinde and her husband Narayan Shinde, have also been arrested.
“Mehrol used to get Rs 15,000 for each fake death certificate while the two doctors used to get just Rs 2,000 each. All six have been arrested. We are probing if more people, including staff from the Thane Municipal Corporation, are involved in this racket,” he informed.
A case of cheating and forgery has been registered against the six accused in Vitthalwadi police station here, he said.
Tempting to turn criminal
This kind of crime might be tempting. A user of Quora once asked what the best insurance policy was if he were to fake his death. A respondent quipped, he would rather need a good lawyer to save himself after committing the fraud.
But real incidents of the type have happened, too. An autorickshaw driver from Delhi last year faked his death so that his wife got an insurance claim worth Rs 16 lakh. A policeman, a doctor, a bank employee and others helped the criminal in the process.
The fraud was on his way to making more insurance claims from other companies when the case was cracked in February 2018.
Last year, Rajasthan Police’s Special Operations Group had arrested six people in connection with the case above.
The gang managed fake post-mortem reports and death certificates for corroboration of their claims. On certain occasions, they would pass off the death of a terminally ill person as a death due to a road accident.