Zimbabwean Nurse Fakes Husband’s Death In UK, Tries To Claims £400,000 Insurance


A United-Kingdom based Zimbabwean nurse has been sentenced to two years probation and 100 hours of community service following an audacious attempt at insurance fraud. The nurse tried to claim almost £ 400,000. (US$ 554,000) by faking her husband’s death.  

Zimbabwean Nurse Fakes Husband's Death In UK, Tries To Claims £400,000 Insurance 

51-year-old Thuile Bhebhe claimed that her husband, Bekezela Bhebhe, had died in Zimbabwe in August 2016 and attempted to get life insurance worth £397,153 from Aviva. She submitted fake documents, including a forged death certificate which showed that her husband had purportedly died in Nkayi, Matabeleland North. During an interview, she also claimed that she had attended the funeral.

Zimbabwean Nurse Fakes Husband's Death In UK, Tries To Claims £400,000 Insurance 

However, in her haste to claim the money, Bhebhe made errors on the paperwork. The discrepancies in the paperwork raised red flags at Aviva leading the insurance company to investigate the claim further.  

According to the City of London Police, investigators at Aviva discovered that Bhebhe’s husband was alive and well. The police went on to say that “simple checks” revealed that the husband who is also a nurse, had worked a long day shift at Charing Cross Hospital, on the day that he supposedly died thousands of kilometres away in rural Zimbabwe. After unearthing the fraudulent action, Aviva referred the case to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

Bhebhe who had already previously pleaded guilty at the City of London Magistrates Court in November 2018 appeared at the Inner London Crown Court on 15 March 2021 for sentencing. She was sentenced to two years imprisonment. However, the two years were wholly suspended. She was also sentenced to 100 hours of community service, with a twenty-five-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. 

Zimbabwean Nurse Fakes Husband's Death In UK, Tries To Claims £400,000 Insurance 

However, her husband Bekezela Bhebhe was cleared following a trial after he denied any involvement in the fraud. He claimed that he was not aware of what he was actually signing. During questioning, Bekezela Bhebhe is reported to have said,

Zimbabwean Nurse Fakes Husband's Death In UK, Tries To Claims £400,000 Insurance 

“I don’t think I’m involved in all this. I know very little about this insurance. The day it was taken over I was there in the house but I wasn’t fully involved, I was just there to sign the papers and say yes.

“I just thought it was ongoing insurance. I never really got into the details of the contracts, what the agreements are.” 

During his trial, jurors heard that the husband was questioned by police and admitted he had credit card debts of £10,000, owed around £5,000 to HMRC in tax and was paying off a joint loan of around £15,000 with his wife.

Speaking on the case, Detective Constable James Rafiq, from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, said:

“Mrs Bhebhe tried to exploit Aviva and steal nearly £400,000 by shamelessly claiming her husband had died. Although she has shown remorse, these fraudulent actions have tainted years of commendable work as NHS nurses for both her and her husband.

“Thanks to Aviva’s diligence when initially reviewing the claim, and their swift action in referring it to IFED for further investigation, Mrs Bhebhe’s ridiculous lie was exposed and she has been rightly punished.”

Jacqueline Kerwood, Claims Governance Manager for Individual Protection at Aviva, said: 

“This was a particularly audacious act of dishonesty by Mrs Bhebhe – in attempting to claim nearly £400,000 by falsely claiming her own husband’s death. Fortunately, it was quickly detected by our expert investigators, and we’re pleased to see justice has been done. This is also very good news for our genuine customers, who ultimately bear the cost of fraud through their premiums. In this case, however, it’s Mrs Bhebhe who will pay the cost for her crime.”

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Mc Noel Kasinja
Mc Noel Kasinjahttps://faceofmalawi.com
A writer,Analyst and Music Promoter. Email: info@faceofmalawi.com

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