Vietnamese woman hires accomplice to sever hand, leg in insurance scam: police

By VnExpress   August 23, 2016 | 02:30 pm PT
She was hoping to make a killing on her lost limbs.

A Vietnamese woman hired a man she knew to cut off part of her hand and leg and staged a train accident last May in a botched attempt to fraudulently claim around US$157,000 worth of insurance, investigators said on Tuesday.

According to police in Bac Tu Liem District in Hanoi, in the early hours of the morning of May 5, Doan Van D., whose first name was withheld, came to the police station to report a train accident in which a woman, identified only as L.T.N., had lost her left hand and left foot.

N., 30, was rushed to the September 18th Hospital and later Viet Duc Hospital, where doctors had no choice but to amputate the damaged limbs four days later.

N. then told the police that on the night before the accident, unhappy with family affairs, she was strolling around the railway area when she was crushed by a train. According to her, D. was passing by at that time and rescued her.

After a three-month investigation, police said they had found that N. staged the accident as part of an elaborate insurance scam.


The scene of the "accident" allegedly staged by the woman. Photo courtesy of An Ninh Thu Do newspaper

The so-called victim and her so-called rescuer knew each other, and N. had hired D., 21, to cut off her hand and leg, police said. Investigators did not elaborate on how they unmasked the scam. It is also unclear how much N. paid D. for his assistance.

According to police, N. eventually confessed to convincing D. to stage the “accident” in a bid to pay off her debt. She told the police that she was deep in financial troubles and had hoped that the money she would have raked in from her insurance policies, around VND3.5 billion ($157,000), would help clear her debts. Vietnam’s annual average income was nearly $2,100 in 2015, according to the World Bank.

Bac Tu Liem District police said they have not pressed any criminal charges against the duo. N. is still undergoing treatment for her injuries.

Authorities said it was one of the most serious insurance scams they have dealt with in years.

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