A 67-year-old Indian man has been arrested after allegedly posing as a doctor and conning 18 women into marrying him.
Bibhu Prakash Swain believed in soulmates and true love, or so he told at least 18 women he allegedly married and conned across India before his arrest — weeks before his next two weddings.
He scoured marriage websites by posing as a 51-year-old doctor and convinced professors, lawyers, medics, and a paramilitary officer across India to tie the knot, police said.
Using fake identification cards and appointment letters to bolster his credentials and family background in status-conscious India, he claimed to be earning a handsome salary.
Sanjiv Satpathy, a senior police official, said; “he primarily did this for their money and some sexual pleasure.”
Swain was arrested in recent days after Satpathy’s team spent months on his trail, uncovering his multiple identities, bank accounts, and plans for two weddings in February and March.
Satpathy said he always targeted women in their late 40s who were single, widowed or divorced and had a very strong personality.
According to the police, Swain used to borrow his newlywed wives’ money or jewellery to help him during his first few “happy and satisfying days” of marriage.
As he approached his next victim, he hoped that the woman’s circumstances — a single, widowed, divorced, or remarried woman in a conservative society — would prevent her from reporting the crime to the police.
Investigators believe Swain married more than 18 times, and they are currently reviewing his mobile phone records where he saved their contacts – as Madam Delhi, Madam Assam, and Madam UP (Uttar Pradesh) – named after the places in India where they stayed.
Angry and cheated after marrying him
In May 2021, police launched a probe into Swain’s multiple lives following a complaint from a 48-year-old wife who, by chance, discovered that he was already married to 7 other women.
Angry and feeling cheated, the victim went into his phone and quickly found the contact information for his other wives and contacted each one individually about their plight.
We discovered that he had a long history of cheating, impersonating, and deceiving,” Satpathy said.
Swain was born in a small village in Odisha and married for the first time in 1978. He and his first wife had three children, two of whom became doctors and one a dentist.
While trained as a lab technician, he fell out with his family and moved to Bhubaneshwar, the state capital. There, he introduced himself as a doctor and eventually married a doctor, his second wife, in 2002.
Satpathy said that the man has used multiple names but always posed as a doctor or a professor while seeking wives online.
According to the police, his elaborate setups weren’t a one-man show, and he moved his money from one place to another with the help of others.
In the Hindustan Times, he was referred to as “no Don Juan” because he stood only five feet, two inches (1.6 metres) tall and was reported to have married at least 27 women in 10 states.
According to the paper, he also allegedly defrauded 13 banks out of 10 million rupees (US$135,000) using 128 forged credit cards and ran a chain of medical labs where doctors and other employees went without pay for months.