A 54-year-old man was arrested by the police for allegedly faking his death by killing a mentally unstable man in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra with a snakebite to claim insurance money worth USD 5 million from a firm in the USA where he used to live earlier, an official said on Monday.
Police have arrested four persons for helping the main accused in planning and executing the killing of the mentally unstable man, 50.
The alleged incident had occurred in Rajur village in Akole tehsil of the Ahmednagar district in April this year.
"The main accused Prabhakar Waghchoure had lived with his family in the US for the last 20 years. He had taken a life insurance worth USD 5 million from an American firm," said Manoj Patil, Superintendent of Police, Ahmednagar.
The accused came to India in January 2021 and started living at his in-laws' place at Dhamangaon Pat, a village in the Ahmednagar district, he said.
Waghchoure allegedly hatched a conspiracy to kill a mentally unstable man and involved Sandip Talekar, Harshad Lahamage, Harish Kulal, and Prashant Choudhary by promising them money.
"Waghchoure then moved to Rajur village and started living at a rented accommodation. He along with other accused procured a venomous snake and made the reptile bite the deceased. After ensuring that he is dead, they rushed him to a hospital, where they posed themselves as the kin of the deceased and registered his name 5as Prabhakar Waghchoure," said Mr Patil.
They told authorities that the victim had come from the USA and had been staying in the village with his family members.
"They procured the death certificate and other legal documents and sent them to the USA, where his son filed for insurance. Back here, Waghchoure and others even performed the last rites of the man," the SP said.
He said the US-based firm grew suspicious as Waghchoure had tried to cheat them in the past as well.
"The firm then sent investigators to India to verify the claim and approached us," he said.
He said that during the investigation, the entire conspiracy was revealed.
"We have arrested Waghchoure from Vadodara in Gujrat. Subsequently, the other four were also arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including murder," the police officer added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)