Rome

Gangs maimed people for insurance scam

People who suffered serious injuries gave consent, one died

Gangs maimed people for insurance scam

Rome, August 8 - Police in the Sicilian city of Palermo have busted two dangerous criminal organizations that allegedly deliberately caused serious injuries to people's arms and legs as part of an insurance scam, sources said Wednesday. The injured people allegedly gave consent for the harm, even though in some cases they ended up in wheelchairs or had to use crutches for long periods of time, in the hope they could obtain money from insurance companies by claiming the injuries were caused by road accidents, the sources said. The gang picked on people on the margins of society who were desperate for cash - drug addicts, people with mental-health problems, people in serious economic difficulty. The methods used to injure people for the scam allegedly included smashing iron weight plates into their limbs. Promises made to give them money were not kept, the sources said. The investigation started after a Tunisian who agreed to take part in the scam, Yacoub Hadri, died of a heart attack while suffering the injuries in January 2017. A consultant concluded that the injuries he suffered were incompatible with the fake accident he was said to have been involved in. Eleven people were detained in relation to the case and one is on the run. In total 60 people are under investigation, including 11 women. One of the women is a nurse at Palermo's Civico hospital who allegedly provided the gangs with medicines and anaesthetics.

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