An Indian, who had claimed to be set ablaze by assailants in Melbourne, had faked the incident for seeking insurance benefits to overcome his financial woes, Australian police alleged today.
Jaspreet Singh, 29, of Essendon area in the city's north, who reported the attack on January 8 after sustaining 15 per cent burn injuries, was today charged with making a false report to police with a view to gaining financial advantage.
At an out-of-sessions hearing, police said Singh had purchased an opaque plastic container and filled it with nearly 16 litres of petrol a day before he torched his seven-year old car to claim insurance money, Sky News TV said.
The container and other evidence were found at his home when he was arrested yesterday, they said before the bail justice.
"Police inquiries have led us to believe that Singh is in some financial difficulty and that he intended to sell his car but instead stood to gain $ 9,750 from an insurance claim out of this particular incident," Detective Senior Constable Danielle O'Keefe told the hearing.
Singh, who is in Australia on his wife's student visa, had told the police that he was doused with petrol by some thugs and set alight as he parked his car near his home.
Singh was taken to the Alfred hospital with burns to his face, arms and hands.