16:33 GMT28 February 2020
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    The City of London Police has a special unit, the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, that works with insurers to tackle fraud. Syed Bukhari not only faked his own death to claim life insurance but also defrauded an elderly couple out of £150,000.

    A serial fraudster who rang his insurance company from Pakistan, posing as his grieving wife, and claimed he had died of a heart attack has been jailed for five years by a court in London.

    Syed Bukhari, 39, from Manchester, had insured his own life for £999,999 and hoped he could trick the company into believing he had died while visiting relatives in Karachi, Pakistan.

    ​He initially emailed the company, pretending to be his partner, but was asked to validate the claim by phone.

    Not put off, Bukhari rang up and put on a woman’s voice in an attempt to continue the ruse.

    The insurance company employed a voice analysis expert to compare his voice with the phone call and they decided they were one and the same person.

    Bukhari had also submitted fake documents, including a death certificate but his fingerprints were found on the papers and when an investigator attended a Union Council office in Pakistan they found Bukhari’s file was empty.

    Detective Sergeant Mike Monkton, who led the City of London Police’s investigation into the bogus life insurance claim, 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.” 

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

    The sentence will be served consecutively after a seven year term he was given in 2018 for defrauding an elderly couple in Lancashire.

    A court in Preston heard he posed as a bank manager, Gerry Patel, when he approached a couple, who were aged 80 and 81 and both suffered from dementia.

    He tricked them into transferring £150,000 into his bank account to apply for loans. Bukhari even sold their house without their knowledge.  

    Bukhari spent his ill-gotten gains on six trips to the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan, travelling first class and spending £11,000 on a hotel stay in Dubai. He also spent tens of thousands of pounds on Rolex watches, jewellery and designer clothes and underwent a cosmetic procedure to cover up his bald patch.

    Tags:
    fraud, insurance, Manchester, Pakistan, Karachi
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