Body stolen in insurance scam

2015-03-21 00:00

SO determined were the members of an elaborate life insurance fraud scheme that they stole a body from a hospital and then staged a fake funeral.

The macabre scam netted the group R1 million.

However, the Durban Commercial Crime Unit has swooped and arrested five people in connection with the scheme.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said the ring began with 45-year-old Maningi Mkhize, of KwaMashu, who had stolen the ID document of one Mondli Dube.

“She [Mkhize] got another man to call the insurance company posing as Dube and took out life cover. She made herself the sole beneficiary and started paying premiums of R319 per month,” he said.

“In January, after paying premiums for six months, she thought it was time to cash in. Her dilemma was that she needed a body in order to start the claim proceedings. She got in touch with a funeral parlour operator, Mlungisi Ciliza, who allegedly put her in contact with a lady who works at the mortuary at King Edward VIII Hospital.

“The mortuary employee, Thandi Ndlovu, allegedly confirmed that there was a body of a man who died in a car accident and was brought in as unknown. Ndlovu was promised R10 000 for making the body available.

“Once the body hurdle was overcome, Mkhize still needed somebody with a surname matching the one she had on the identity document.

Again Ciliza stepped into the gap and was promised R200 000 for securing the services of his neighbour, Thulani Dube, who shares the surname. Dube was to be paid R20 000 for his involvement.

“Mkhize and Dube went to King Edward VIII Hospital posing as a brother and sister to identify their ‘sibling’. Dube produced the dead man’s identity document and the body was removed to the private mortuary to arrange for funeral proceedings. Running parallel to the funeral arrangements is the claiming process with the insurance company,” Zwane said.

“Before the claim processes could be finalised, a funeral had to be held. The four allegedly opted for a cremation, which would cost less. On Monday, the body was taken to kwaMashu for the ‘family’ to have a service before cremating the body the following day. A tent was erected and a service was held, and the body was then returned to be cremated,” he added.

Mkhize also allegedly paid her neighbour Langelihle Motopa R20 000 to host the funeral.

However, police became aware of the scam, halted the cremation and arrested the five.

It was established that the real Mondli Dube lost his identity document when his car was broken into and is still very much alive.

The body would be returned to the government mortuary as an unknown male.

The five were charged with fraud and appeared in the Durban Commercial Crime Court yesterday. They pleaded guilty and were released on bail pending sentence proceedings.


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