BBC.com — A Vietnamese woman has admitted to paying for her foot and part of her arm to be cut off in order to claim an insurance payout, police say. In May, the 30-year-old woman, named as “Ly Thi N”, pretended she had been hit by a train, the People’s Police Newspaper of Vietnam reports. But she has now reportedly admitted to having paid a friend $2,200 (£1,660) to sever her limbs.
The aim was to claim more than $150,000 from her insurance company. A supposed bystander, “Doan Van D”, the same person who did the cutting, had called an ambulance after “finding” the injured woman on a Hanoi railroad. Pictures published by the official police newspaper showed the woman three months later, with her wounds healed. She is believed to run a struggling business, according to local media.
The unusual case has led to heated discussion on social media in Vietnam. “A very typical case of insurance fraud. The kind of joke that only happens in Vietnam,” Facebook user Ly Phan posted. “Lost 50 million, 1 hand, 1 leg, and now you are at risk to go to jail. No benefit at all.” Several users decried the woman for the dangerous move, while others questioned how desperate she must have been.
“She may be going bankrupt or urgently need money to do something like that. It is never easy to cheat insurance companies,” Thanh Phuong Quynh Le said. Hoa Nguyen said she felt sympathy for the woman: “How destitute must a person be to do such a thing?”
Police have dropped the criminal investigation against both suspects, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reports. Le Van Luan, of the Hanoi Bar Association, told the BBC that it would be difficult to find the appropriate law to charge the pair with under the penal code. “We need a new article for this kind of fraud,” he said. “Her self-harm is horrible and extremely rare.”