A British-Pakistan man impersonates his wife to claim insurance payout faking his own death. Image Credit: Social media

Dubai: A British-Pakistani man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for trying to fake his own death in a bid to claim one million pounds from an insurance company.

“My husband has died of heart attack in Karachi,” 39-year-old Syed Bukhari told the insurance company over the phone impersonating his own wife. But the investigators stopped his plans to ‘win’ huge insurance payout.

London Police

In a statement, London Police’s insurance fraud department (IFED), said the man — identified as Syed Bukhari, 39 — “impersonated his female partner on the phone to try and fake his own death”, claiming that he had passed away following a heart attack in Karachi.

Bukhari “used a bogus death certificate”, medical certificate mentioning the cause of death, and a trust document to try and progress his insurance claim, The News reported.

“Our investigation revealed that he also used a bogus death certificate to try and progress his claim,” police said.

According to London Police statement, Acting Detective Sergeant Mike Monkton said: “Not only did Bukhari try and fake his own death and steal hundreds of thousands of pounds from his insurer, he was also brazen enough to impersonate his partner in a bid to progress his claim."

“If he’d been successful, he would’ve benefited up to the sum of £999,999,” added Monkton, who was also the lead investigator.

Fake medical centre

Investigators discovered that the medical centre where he allegedly died did not exist, that a doctor from another hospital nearby said he had never heard of such a facility, and that there was no record of Bukhari being buried in the cemetery.

Bukhari was caught after a voice analysis expert also confirmed it was Bukhari’s voice and his fingerprints were found on the documents he submitted.

Despite proof, Bukhari initially denied the fraud and blamed it on his own partner. He, however, pleaded guilty in court later.

Not the first fraud

Russian news media outlet Sputnik added that Bukhari was a serial fraudster as he had previously defrauded an elderly couple, aged 80 and 81 and suffering from dementia. He had “tricked them into transferring £150,000 into his bank account to apply for loans” and “sold their house without their knowledge”.

The publication added that he spent money obtained by defrauding the old couple Bukhari on holidays “travelling first class and spending £11,000 on a hotel stay”, as well as “on Rolex watches, jewellery and designer clothes” and “a cosmetic procedure to cover up his bald patch”.

The City of London Police has a special unit, the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, that works with insurers to tackle fraud

On Thursday 16 January, Bukhari, was jailed for five years and seven months at Inner London Crown Court.

Insurance company investigations

The insurer also instructed an independent claims investigation company to carry out further checks in Pakistan, based on the documents that had been provided by Bukhari, reported a British newspaper the Manchester Evening News.

The investigator found that the cemetery named on the death certificate, where Bukhari had allegedly been buried, had no record in their register of it happening on the date listed or a week either side.

Additionally, the investigator attend offices where the death registration certificate recorded the alleged death of Bukhari. However, upon checking the file which should have contained various details about the death (e.g. ID number of the deceased, death certificate from the hospital), it was empty.

Finally, the investigator visited the supposed medical centre listed on the medical certificate of cause of death but could not find any sign of the premises existing in Karachi.