Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The policemen, their blog, and the round the world sailing fraudsters

Still reading Liza Copeland's "Still Cruising" (review to come) but in the mean time here is a morality tale about how not to sail off carefree into the sunset.

Shashi Bacheta of Wales claimed she was so ill she was unable to get out of bed and needing 24 hour care in order to get about £40,000 of invalidity and housing benefits (for those non-Brits that's money the Government pays out of our taxes). But really she used it to fund the adventure of a lifetime, sailing off around the world with her partner in a 70 foot boat Kismet (above).

Alas just like the canoe couple (you remember, husband faked death in kayak accident, couple went off to central America with insurance money) that got caught out in a photo this pair also was snapped somewhere other than the sick bed, namely living a rather more energetic life sailing the yacht in the Canaries.

The cruising community being a friendly social bunch, they made friends with another boat also in the Canaries. Alas this was sailed by some retired policemen, and they mentioned meeting them on their blog which was spotted by council investigators.

Having spotted yacht on the blog, the investigators made contact with the retired policemen who dug up the photo and it was a case of red faces all round "its a fair cop, gov" as the couple pleaded guilty this week.

More on this story here and here.

They are facing jail and their yacht Kismet is now up for sale.

Update on March 20th: Today they were sentenced and Shashi Bacheta received 21 months in jail and Jeffrey Cole nine months. More here.


Greg Andkris said...

Kismet? Really? So they knew this day was coming ...

JP said...

Its much easier to understand destiny with the power of hindsight ;)