By Bae Ji-sook
A man was arrested Tuesday for having "faked" his death in a conspiracy with his wife in order to claim a 1.8 billion won insurance payout.
The two not only fabricated the death certificate but held a cremation rite as a funeral at a Buddhist temple.
According to the Nadaemun Police, the 51-year-old Chung reported the death of her 51-year-old husband Ahn in June to six insurance firms from which they had bought life insurance policies. She claimed Ahn had a traffic accident on Batam Island in Indonesia a few weeks previously and that his funeral and cremation were over. The couple had bought the insurance policies in advance.
Chung handed in the death certificate from Indonesian doctors and the Korean embassy in Indonesia and the cremation certificate.
However, the insurers found out that Chung had bribed Indonesian police and medical staff to get the fake documents.
Chung offered a videotape of the cremation ceremony.
The police explained that the couple tried to take advantage of the fact that deaths reported overseas are hard to verify. "It is a new version of insurance fraud," a police detective said.
The investigators said the couples concocted the scheme after their recreation business in the Southeast Asian country began to slide. The two were arrested and a warrant was issued for their nephew Chung on fraud charges.
The investigators have also requested the Indonesian authorities investigate whether there were other people involved.
Not just life insurance firms but also auto insurance firms are facing a great number of scams, which some say are a result of the difficult economic situation.
In some cases, people have faked injuries after intentionally being running into cars in an effort to squeeze money from insurance firms.