Official faces murder charge in life insurance scam

The provincial People’s Procuracy in Dak Nong Province on Tuesday launched criminal proceedings against a commune official who allegedly killed his wife's nephew, then staged a vehicle fire to cover up the murder and claim insurance.

Official faces murder charge in life insurance scam

The suspected murderer Do Van Minh at the police station. 

The suspect Do Van Minh, 49, residing in Tan Ha Commune, Lam Ha District, Lam Dong Commune, was secretary of the Lien Ha Commune Party Committee. He was detained for 117 days.

On May 4, a burned pickup truck was found on National Highway 28 in Dak Som Commune, Dak G’Long District, Dak Nong Commune. A severely burned corpse was found inside.

Initial investigations found the vehicle belonged to Do Van Minh and the body was Tran Nho Vuong, 25 years old, a nephew of Minh’s wife.

On May 10, Minh was caught in Dong Xoai City, the central province of Binh Phuoc.

Minh admitted to police that he faced debts of VND10 billion (US$430,000) for losses incurred through trading coffee online. He bought a life insurance policy for nearly VND200 million (US$8,500) and planned to fake his own death to claim a payout of nearly VND20 billion.

Initially, he planned to steal the body of a cancer patient from a local cemetery. However, when he touched the coffin, he got cold feet.

On April 27, Minh bought a used motorbike and left it at a house near the location he planned to torch the car.

On May 2, Minh bought 120 litres of petrol and stored it in his car. On May 3, Minh visited Vuong’s house in hamlet 5, Dak Ha Commune. The men had a meal and later, Minh killed Vuong with an axe.

Vuong’s body then was place in Minh’s car. Minh drove to National Highway 28, crashing into a pillar. Vuong’s body was placed in the driver’s seat together with Minh’s personal items.

 

After setting fire to the car with the body inside, Minh walked to get his motorbike and escaped to Binh Phuoc Province.

As the body was severely burned, Minh’s family and authorities initially thought Minh died in the crash.

His funeral was organised while Vuong’s mother started to worry about her son’s absence.

Police officers eventually suspected that it was a staged accident given evidence they collected.

Minh was arrested in Binh Phuoc on May 10.

At the police station, Minh claimed he did not have any conflict with the victim.

The suspect also admitted to having bought a new SIM card and pretended to be another person to text his son, in what he said was an attempt to comfort the child over his ‘death’.

Minh added he had watched his own funeral as he had the password to access the CCTV system installed at his home. VNS 

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