The biggest topic on Chinese social media at the moment is a tragic story of a man who faked his own death to receive insurance payment.
According to Shanghaiist, the man from Hunan province China, faked his own death after falling into debt and taking out a 1 million yuan ($144,000) life insurance policy on himself, hoping to save his family. He failed to inform his family of his plan, leading to his wife killing herself along with their two young children.
The 34-year-old man surnamed “He” reportedly disappeared on September 19th after borrowing a car which was later found crashed in the Zijiang River of Xinhua county. Police searches of the river and surrounding area failed to turn up He’s body.
Three weeks later, his 31-year-old wife surnamed “Dai” was seen on surveillance camera walking with the couple’s four-year-old son and three-year-old daughter to a pond near their village. Upon reaching the pond, Dai then bound the children’s hands and threw them into the water before also drowning herself.
Before going to the pond that day, Dai had left behind a suicide note on WeChat. In the note, she said that she had lost the will to live, no longer able to bear the weight of being accused of causing her husband’s death by He’s family, who, she claims, also accused her of being lazy, crazy, and a spendthrift to boot.
Dai also wrote that she and her husband had been happily married and that she loved and missed him, explaining that she was taking her life and those of her children so that they could all be together again.
The day after the three bodies were found, Mr. He arrived at the local police station, tearfully confessing to faking his own death in order to solve his financial difficulties. Police said that He was more than 100,000 yuan ($14,000) in debt after taking out an online loan and that a little more than a week before faking the crash, he had taken out a 1 million yuan ($144,000) life insurance policy on himself.
Just prior to turning himself in, He filmed a video and shared it on social media. The video shows him wailing on the ground for more than two minutes. In between sobs, he apologizes to his dead children, crying that he thought that by hiding from his past he would help them move forward, but explaining that he never thought his wife’s love for him was so strong that she would sacrifice herself and her kids.
In the clip, Mr. He also explains the reason that he took out online loans and overdrew his credit cards, saying that the money was to pay for his daughter’s epilepsy treatment. Both families have confirmed that the little girl did have epilepsy, but Dai’s cousin told reporters that, while costly at first, the girl’s condition was no longer severe or terribly expensive to treat, questioning why He had decided to take out such a big loan.
Police have detained He for intentional destruction of property and insurance fraud. However, Chinese legal experts have chimed in on the case, explaining that it is unlikely that He will be convicted of fraud. Dai did not know about his plan or about the policy, meaning that she never actually filed a claim for the 1 million yuan.
It’s unclear if Dai’s family will try to hold He responsible for the deaths of his wife and kids. However, legal experts also find that an unlikely conviction as well. In the meantime, Dai’s family has actually pointed the finger at He’s family as the cause for this tragedy, accusing them of pressuring Dai into doing what she did.