Vietnamese woman paid friend to cut off her body parts to get insurance payout

Ms Ly Thi N has admitted to paying a friend to cut off her foot and left hand to get an insurance payout.
Ms Ly Thi N has admitted to paying a friend to cut off her foot and left hand to get an insurance payout.PHOTO: CONG AN NHAN DAN

A Vietnamese woman has admitted to paying a friend to cut off her foot and left hand in order to get an insurance payout, the BBC Vietnamese Service reported after quoting the People's Police Newspaper of Vietnam.

The 30-year-old Ms Ly Thi N had pretended she had been hit by a train on a Hanoi railroad in an attempt to claim US$150, 000 (S$ 203,000) from her health insurance company in May.

A three-month long police investigation revealed that the person who called the police about Ms Ly's accident was actually her friend, whom she paid US$2,200 to cut off her limbs.

The accomplice - Mr Doan Van D - posed as a stranger but the Daily Mail reported that the police became suspicious when they began investigating Ms Ly's private life. Vietnam's Thanh Nien News reported that Ms Ly's business had suffered losses.

Vietnamese newspaper Tuoi Tre reported that doctors said it was impossible to reattach her limbs.

Pictures show her now healed stump below her left wrist, as she confessed to the insurance scam in a Hanoi police station.

Police chief Nguyen Thanh Tung told Tuoi Tre: "(She) hired (him) to cut her hand and foot, then continued to have him report false information to the police.

"The greatest shame is that (she), instead of claiming the money, has suffered a huge loss by losing both her hand and foot.

"Her case sends a warning that people should not attempt insurance fraud at the expense of their own health."

The incident caused a stir on social media in Vietnam.

Facebook user Hua Nguyen said: "How destitute must a person be to do such a thing?"

Another user Ly Phan said on the same social media platform: "A very typical case of insurance fraud. The kind of joke that only happens in Vietnam."

Police are not continuing a criminal investigation against the pair, Tuoi Tre reported.

Mr Le Van Luan of the Hanoi Bar Association told the BBC that it is hard to convict the man and woman as there is no law that exists for this situation.

He said: "We need a new article for this kind of fraud. Her self-harm is horrible and extremely rare."

Sources: The BBC, Daily Mail, Thanh Nien News, Tuoi Tre, The Independent