A local court has upheld the request to claim 3 million yuan (5,300) insurance money filed by relatives of a woman whose newly-wed husband arranged for her murder to reap the proceeds from insurance policies taken out in her name.
The victim, surnamed Liao, was duped into the sham marriage with a man surnamed Li, who married her in March 2013 with the aim of cashing in on her death to pay for his gambling debts.
During their short marriage, Li bought two accident insurance policies worth 3 million yuan for Liao with himself as the beneficiary. Li asked a friend, surnamed Zhou, to seduce Liao by sending her gifts and Liao became Zhou's mistress.
In May 2013, Zhou took Liao to an industrial park in Changzhou City, in east China's Jiangsu Province. Pretending to be a careless moped rider, he drove into the river and pushed Liao's head deep into the water, drowning her.
Li was sentenced to death for his involvement in the plot, while Zhou received a death sentence with a two-year reprieve, according to a local court in Jiangsu.
After her killing, Liao's parents and brother went to claim on her insurance policies but the insurance company, based in Shanghai, refused to pay, citing the fact that she hadn't died from an accident and her husband had cheated the company. The relatives sued and took the company to the Pudong New Area People's Court.
The court ruled that Li, who is on death row, was disqualified as a beneficiary, but that according to insurance law, the policies are regarded as Liao's inheritance, which, based on the law of inheritance, should go to her immediate family.