A man in India faked his own death to steal five million dollars from his American life insurance.
Prabhakar Bhimaji Waghchaure had lived in the United States for 20 years before returning to India in January this year to settle near Ahmednagar, Maharashtra state. On April 22, the local police received news of the death of the 54-year-old: he was bitten in the toe by a cobra and died as a result, it said.
A man who introduced himself as Wagchaure’s nephew Praveen then identified the body at the hospital. A second person present also stated that the body was Wagchaure. The cause of death was recorded as a result of a snakebite and the body was released for the final rites and burial, as the “Indian Express” reports.
But then it turned out that Wagchaure had taken out life insurance for five million dollars in the USA – the insurance company contacted the Indian authorities and wanted to find out more details about Wagchaure’s sudden death. When the police checked his place of residence, no one knew about an incident with a snake. But an ambulance had been seen in front of Wagchaure’s house.
Caught over phone logs
Since the investigators could not find a close relative of the deceased, they examined the telephone logs of Wagchaure – and found that he was very well still alive. In addition, it turned out that the allegedly deceased had acted as his own nephew Praveen when the body was identified in the hospital. Wagchaure was then arrested.
Little by little, the details of the case came to light. Wagchaure had come up with a clever plan and went in search of a man who looked like him. The later victim, a penniless man named Navnath Yashwant Aanap (50), found Wagchaure near his home. Two of Wagchaure’s relatives forcibly abducted him to a hidden place where a snake dealer with a cobra was waiting for him. The men made the venomous snake bit his foot. Aanap succumbed to poisoning. His body was then taken to Wagchaure’s house and the men called an ambulance. Since he had not lived there long, no one noticed the fraud.
Already faked death of the wife
There is a good reason that the insurance company became skeptical after Wagchafe’s death. In 2017, the man had already tried to collect money for the alleged death of his wife. But it was quickly established that the woman was still alive.
Now Wagchaure and four accomplices have to answer for murder in court. According to the police, he had promised his helpers around $ 46,000 each for their cooperation in the murder. The judiciary is now checking whether the snake owner can also be held accountable.