HOW THE SCAM WAS BUSTED
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
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
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.
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