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Ghost who walks: Man arrested three-and-a-half years after being declared dead

Dinesh Gupta declared himself dead on papers to claim insurance of Rs 30 lakh against a term policy he had taken from a leading private company in 2014.

delhi Updated: Aug 04, 2017 11:00 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
Karn Pratap Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Police,Delhi crime,Delhi Police crime branch
Delhi Police arrested Dinesh Gupta who had declared himself dead to claim an insurance claim of Rs 30 lakh. (File photo)

Forty-two months after his family members declared him dead and obtained his death certificate from municipal office in Haryana’s Jhajjar, a 31-year-old man was arrested on Thursday by the Delhi Police crime branch for allegedly being part of an organised cheating syndicate involved in duping insurance companies.

Senior police officers said the arrested man, Dinesh Gupta, declared himself dead on papers to claim an insurance claim of Rs 30 lakh against a term insurance policy he had taken from a leading private insurance company in 2014.

An application seeking death benefits to the beneficiaries of the insured person, in this case it was Gupta, was already moved to the insurance company.

But before the insured money and other benefits could be provided to the family members of Gupta, an assistant sub-inspector in crime branch was tipped off about this conspiracy and Gupta was arrested after the information was found true. Gupta was into the business of manufacturing handcrafted Rakhis.

Investigators said Gupta had been living in Delhi itself, but at a different residential address, ever since he was declared dead due to Tuberculosis in February 2014. He was leading a normal life and pursuing his case with the insurance company through his family members and other racketeers of the syndicate.

Delhi Police crime branch teams are now looking for the kingpin and other members of the racket that has been active in Delhi-NCR for the past few years. The alleged gang has duped several private insurance companies to the tune of crores of rupees. The racketeers used to claim the insurance money and other benefits after submitting the death certificates and other requisite documents related to the insured persons.

Madhur Verma, deputy commissioner of police (crime), said Gupta has revealed the names of the mastermind of the racket and his other partners in the crime.

“Our teams are conducting raids in Delhi-NCR to nab the other accused. We are close to busting the entire syndicate,” he said, adding they have identified some more cheating cases in which this racket was involved. The syndicate was being operated from commercial space in east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar.

About the modus operandi, an investigator said that the members of the syndicate roam around hospitals impersonating themselves as insurance company agents. The agents target family members of patients admitted to the hospitals in critical condition.

They first strike a conversation with the patient’s relative by asking them if the patient is covered under any life or medical insurance policy. After convincing the relative about the benefits of an insurance policy, the racketeer would ask the person to open an insurance policy for himself.

“If the person refuses, the racketeer would entice him with their plan wherein insurance claims and other benefits can be claimed from the insurance company by submitting a fake death certificate and other documents of the insured person,” the officer said.

In the deal, the person is promised half the share of the claimed insurance amount. The racketeers promise to take care of all the investments and efforts made to obtain the insurance claim.

Investigators said that they will probe the role of the staff in Jhajjar’s municipal office from where Gupta’s death certificate was issued. “We will question the municipal office staff to know how and under what circumstances Gupta’s death certificate was prepared and issued even when he was very much alive,” the officer added.

First Published: Aug 04, 2017 07:23 IST