An Indian man faked his own death by allegedly killing a laborer and burning the latter’s body in his car, all to collect his life own insurance money. However, before he could successfully conclude his plan, he was arrested by the police.

Aakash (last name withheld), 47, a property dealer from Chandigarh, India, was arrested Tuesday from a local railway station after investigators found that he, along with some of his family members, had hatched a plan to commit life insurance fraud.

“Prima facie (the accused), Aakash and his family wanted to grab the huge life insurance money, the value of which will be estimated after further investigation and interrogation of the accused,” Sirmaur Superintendent of Police Rohit Malpani said, News 18 reported. 

Aakash’s accidental death was filed at a police station in Nahan in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh on Nov. 20. It was claimed his car had collided with a parapet at Judda Ka Johar, Himachal Pradesh, and soon after the vehicle burst into flames, killing the only man inside it.

Since the body was burnt beyond recognition, a team of forensic experts visited the crash site the next day. Even as authorities tried to identify the body, Aakash’s family started pressuring them to issue his death certificate as soon as possible – a behavior that made the police suspicious.

The Nahan Police sensed something was fishy when “a team of the Punjab Police came to Nahan a few days ago in search of a missing laborer from Rajasthan [India] who was working with Aakash and was last in touch with him,” the Malpani said.

To investigate the matter, they arrested Aakash’s nephew, Ravi Kumar, 29, and interrogated him after the latter was remanded in their custody for five days by a court order. Eventually, Kumar confessed aiding and abetting his uncle murder a laborer, who used to work for the latter, and set fire to his car after driving it against a parapet, between Nov. 19 and 20.

“Aakash was involved in a money dispute and he was under debt. To solve the problem, Aakash and his nephew… planned he entire crime,” a police official told Times of India.

The crime involved getting the laborer, Raju, 40, drunk and strangulating him. They then placed his body in Aakash’s car, poured oil on it and set it ablaze.

“Before torching the car, they first hit it against a signboard and pushed it to a wall. They made the murder look like an accident,” said Nahan Police Station House Officer Vijay Kumar.

After chasing Aakash through multiple states, he was finally taken into custody while he was trying to flee from Bihar to Delhi. The police found out the accused planned to flee to Nepal after claiming his insurance money.

Aakash has been charged with murder, causing disappearance of evidence, and acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention. He has been remanded in police custody till his first appearance in court. It is not known if a date has been set for his appearance.

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