Man Arrested After Burning Someone’s Body to Fake Own Death and Clear Gambling Debts

  • Police found a charred body in a burnt-out car which Dharma used to fake his death
  • He had already taken out significant loans to try to cover his gambling debts
  • Police became suspicious of the incident and seized phones of his family members
  • They were able to confirm that Dharma was alive and tracked him down via his phone
India flag with man in handcuffs
A man has been arrested after he allegedly faked his own death by leaving someone’s charred remains in his car as he tried to secure an insurance claim to deal with major gambling losses.[Image: Shutterstock.com]

Trying to cover debts

A man in India has been arrested for faking his own death by burning the body of a man in his car and claiming it was him. Telangana police arrested Pathloth Dharma Nayak on Tuesday in relation to the incident.

trying to secure an insurance payout to clear his debts

The authorities believe that he had racked up substantial online betting losses and was trying to secure an insurance payout to clear his debts. Dharma, who is a senior assistant at the secretariat, had taken out loans in order to cover his gambling losses.

While some local media reports suggest that Dharma may have burnt someone alive in the incident, the police have not yet confirmed the results of their investigation. What is known, is that police found the charred remains of a man’s body in Dharma’s car on January 9.

An elaborate plan

After staging the accident and leaving the charred remains in his car, Dharma fled the region of Telangana.

After police discovered the burnt-out car and remains on January 9, Dharma’s wife claimed the deceased body belonged to her husband. However, numerous locals and friends expressed doubts that it was actually Dharma’s body.

discovered a petrol can next to the vehicle

The police were suspicious about the incident as they discovered a petrol can next to the vehicle. They proceeded to seize phones from Dharma’s wife, as well as some of his relatives. While police were in possession of the phones, Dharma sent a text message to his wife asking her to get a death certificate and to pay off all his outstanding loans using the insurance payout.

No payouts to come

Notified to his location by his phone use, police were able to track Dharma down and place him under arrest. They believe that Dharma may have killed his driver before burning out the car with the body inside. According to local media reports, Dharma had potentially taken out insurance policies with numerous companies, with a typical policy paying out up to 20x the holder’s annual income if they die.

Dharma’s attempt to fake his own death bears a close resemblance to an incident that took place in 1984 which inspired the Malayalam movie Kurup. In that case, Sukumara Kurup allegedly murdered a man named Chacko in an attempt to fake his own death and thereby claim life insurance.

While insurance companies do not usually check to see if a person has policies with multiple insurers, they do so if there is a claim. Investigations are continuing into the matter.