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OFF BEAT: Man allegedly severs own hand to collect insurance


A Taiwanese district court ordered a man accused of severing his own hand to collect on his insurance to be released on bail Monday.

Hu Chi-yang reportedly alleged that three robbers chopped his hand off and took his Rolex watch and a ring when he visited China in November, but insurers asked police to investigate.

The investigation found that the man had purchased two insurance policies with about $1 million in total limits in Taiwan before heading to China.

Investigators also contend that there was no scuffle at the location where the man said the robbery occurred and that his cut appeared very clean, while blood located at the alleged crime scene contained anesthetic.

When questioned by investigators, the man could not recall details about exactly what happened.

Additionally, a knife shop owner identified the suspect as having purchased a meat cleaver that was recovered with his blood on it. The man, however, reportedly insisted the injury was not self-inflicted.

Prosecutors initially recommended his release on $23,000 bail on the insurance fraud charge, but he alleged he had no money, so they recommended the court keep him in detention. The court, however, reduced the amount substantially and allowed his release on bail.