Ramakanta Biswas

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Crime Branch has arrested an LIC agent from Puri district for allegedly swindling death claims to the tune of over Rs 1.18 crore of some dead beneficiaries.

Accused Kabiraj Behera, a resident of Jhadakata under Kanas police limits, will be produced in the court of SDJM, Khordha today.

The EOW had registered a case on the basis of a complaint made by the authorised officer of LIC of India, Khordha Bhanch on the allegation of fraudulent death claims perpetrated by Behera in conspiracy with nominees of deceased persons.

The investigation of the case revealed that the accused, who has been working as LIC agent since 2003, fraudulently managed to get 23 LIC policies between 2013 and 2019 in the names of four dead persons, falsely showing them as alive. 

After about 3 to 5 years of taking those policies, the accused prepared fake death certificates in the names of insured persons. By using those fake death certificates, accused applied for death claims in favour of the nominees in the LIC Branch Office, Khordha and attempted to avail the financial benefits/death claims against those 23 policies. 

“It has been ascertained that the insurance policies were taken subsequent to the actual death of insured persons but the premium was being paid regularly,” the EOW said in a statement.

“Knowingly, in all the policies the sum assured were kept less than Rs 10 lakhs, which comes well within the financial power to settle the death benefits by the Branch manager, without referring to the Divisional Office,” the statement added.

The total amount of claims raised by the nominees of 23 policies through the accused was more than Rs 1.81 crore, and against five policies, the LIC of India had released payments.

During the investigation, the house of the accused was searched and many incriminating documents pertaining to the above death claims like, voter identity cards, ATM cards, bank passbooks, cheque books, Aadhaar cards of the claimant nominees and correspondences made by LIC with those nominees have been seized. 

“So also some papers containing the purported full signatures of the Ghost Policy Holders have also been seized from the possession of the accused agent, Kabiraj Behera,” the EOW said.

“Investigation of the case is continuing. The roles of nominees /applicants of the 23 policies and the LIC officials if any, are under investigation. Further, it is under verification whether the accused has done any more such cases fraudulently,” it added.