Ex-US troop who faked death held in SA

2012-02-08 22:35

Johannesburg - A former United States soldier accused of faking his own death will apply for bail in the Sterkspruit Magistrate's Court on Thursday, said the Eastern Cape branch of the national prosecuting suthority.

"The US citizen is facing charges of murder and fraud together with his South African wife, who was granted bail in December last year," NPA regional spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said on Wednesday.

The couple allegedly decided to fake the man's death after financial problems.

Tyali said since the husband had a number of life insurance policies under his name in the US, they both decided to fake his death with the aim of defrauding the policies.

"In October last year, the husband is alleged to have then set his car on fire in an open space during the night after which it transpired that there were human remains, burnt beyond recognition, inside the charred vehicle."

Tyali said the wife allegedly told the police that the remains were those of her husband.

She then proceeded to submit claims in respect of all policies under her husband's estate and some of these were paid out.

He said the State intended applying for the woman's bail to be revoked as it had been discovered that she had lodged further insurance claims since her arrest.

The couple met in the US, where they were both were soldiers, before resigning and moving to South Africa.

They could not be named as they were yet to plead to the charges, said Tyali.

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