HOW THE SCAM WAS BUSTED

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Spotlight -

SUS­PI­CION

In 2017 and 2018, in­sur­ance com­pa­nies in Haryana re­ceived a stream of sus­pi­cious claims of per­sonal ac­ci­dent in­sur­ance

The vic­tims were all farm­ers with no in­sur­ance his­tory

The gap be­tween buy­ing of pol­icy and press­ing of claim was too close — five days in one case

No one else got in­jured in these road ac­ci­dents

THE FIRST ALARM

In 2017, a pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor (PI) in Haryana re­ceived 19 to 20 such cases from var­i­ous in­sur­ance com­pa­nies to look into

The PI wrote back to the com­pa­nies, say­ing he had a “con­crete doubt” that these peo­ple hadn’t died in ac­ci­dents

In 2018, the claims depart­ment at Bharti AXA be­gan to in­ves­ti­gate eight of these cases, mak­ing in­quiries in the con­cerned vil­lages, po­lice sta­tions and hos­pi­tals

INVESTIGAT­ION

On April 5 2019, Bharti AXA filed a com­plaint with the direc­tor gen­eral of po­lice in Panchkula, al­leg­ing that a gang had de­frauded the com­pany of crores of ru­pees by pre­sent­ing the death of ter­mi­nal can­cer pa­tients as ac­ci­den­tal

Sev­eral other com­pa­nies fol­lowed up with sim­i­lar com­plaints, in­clud­ing Ba­jaj Al­lianz and Chola MS Gen­eral In­sur­ance

The case was handed over to the Spe­cial Task Force

AC­TION

They tapped phone con­ver­sa­tions be­tween sus­pected gang mem­bers and fol­lowed them. Over the phone calls the gang mem­bers were heard dis­cussing bribes to be paid to po­lice of­fi­cers and hos­pi­tals.

On April 18, an eight-mem­ber Haryana-based gang was charged with de­struc­tion of ev­i­dence, fraud, mak­ing a false doc­u­ment and forgery, among oth­ers

On April 20, STF ar­rested the mas­ter­mind of the scam and his two close aides from Sonepat.

PROBE WIDENS

Seven peo­ple have been ar­rested in the case since, in­clud­ing a fam­ily mem­ber, two com­puter op­er­a­tors and a head con­sta­ble

As more cases are brought up by in­sur­ance agen­cies ev­ery day, the fam­ily mem­bers are be­ing ques­tioned and raids con­ducted in the houses of the de­ceased, po­lice sta­tions and hos­pi­tals.

STF is cur­rently look­ing into the sus­pected par­tic­i­pa­tion of 12 po­lice of­fi­cers and 10 gov­ern­ment doc­tors

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