A mortuary in Johannesburg. Scamming syndicates often recruit an official
WALDO SWIEGERS / GETTY IMAGES
Corpses are being rented out from South African mortuaries to gangs who are claiming multiple payouts on life and funeral policies in a ruthless scam that costs insurers millions each year.
One syndicate is alleged to have paid for about a dozen people to be murdered after taking out funeral plans in their names, the Insurance Crime Bureau said. Bodies are moved from one mortuary to another and are often disfigured to disguise their identity.
“A body can be used on numerous occasions — four times is not unusual,” Garth de Klerk, head of the bureau, said. “The modus operandi is becoming increasingly brazen and the gangs are highly organised.”