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R1.5m body switch uncovered

Durban - Six people will appear in the Durban Commercial Crimes court on Monday for alleged insurance fraud, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

Colonel Vincent Mdunge said the six were arrested on Thursday and Friday.

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They were allegedly part of a scheme to defraud insurance companies that involved insuring a dead man and claiming the life insurance.

“It is alleged that a 50-year-old suspect had taken out a life cover with insurance companies for his uncle who was already deceased, to the value of R1.5 million,” Mdunge said.

“He paid the monthly premiums as usual and waited patiently to claim.”

Mdunge said the man wanted to claim the insurance in October last year but needed a body to represent his dead uncle.

He then approached a woman at a funeral parlour in Durban and allegedly promised her R15 000 if she could find him a dead body and forge a death certificate.

She approached Zivelele Funeral Services to help her find the body. The body had to be presented to a doctor for certification and then buried later.

However, Zivelele Funeral Services did not have a body resembling the deceased uncle so they asked the Twin Sister Funeral Services in Pinetown to help them.

“They had a body fitting the description but it could not be buried because it belonged to another family, Mdunge said.

“Twin Sister Funeral Services loaned Zivelele Funeral Services a male body which the claimant presented to the doctor for death certification, after which he was able to obtain a death certificate.”

The body was taken back to Twin Sister Funeral Services who were promised R20 000 for their part in the scam.

However Zivelele Funeral Services still needed a body to bury and Twin Sister Funeral Services helped them again by buying a female body from a mortuary employee at the RK Khan Hospital in Chatsworth for R3000.

The body was buried at Shellcross cemetery.

“The death certificate states that a deceased is a male but Zivelele Funeral Services buried a female body dressed in male pyjamas,” Mdunge said.

After an investigation, the man, the owner of Zivelele Funeral Services, the owners of Twin Sister Funeral Services, the woman who helped the man, and the mortuary employee were arrested. - Sapa

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