Chinese man kills wife to ‘claim £3.5 million life insurance payout’

Chinese man kills wife to ‘claim £3.5 million life insurance payout’

December 13, 2018

Chinese husband buys £3.8 million life insurance for his wife months before killing her during a holiday in Thailand to claim payout, relatives reveal

  • The man from Tianjin, China has been arrested in Thailand following the incident 
  • Murder allegedly occurred during family vacation with their 20-month-old child
  • The husband told victim’s family she had drowned in the hotel pool in Phuket
  • But woman’s father suspected the man was lying since she was a good swimmer

A man from China has been accused of murdering his wife during a family vacation in Thailand in order to claim an insurance payout of more than 33 million yuan (£3.8 million). 

The family of the woman, who was nicknamed as Xiaojie in Chinese media reports, said her husband, Zhang Yifan, killed her in a swimming pool at a holiday villa in Phuket in late October. 

The relatives claimed that Zhang, a resident of north-east China’s Tianjin city, had taken out many insurance policies for his wife in the months prior to her death, according to The Paper citing Jinyun news. 

Thai police confirmed Zhang’s arrest to MailOnline but declined to give details amid ongoing investigations. 

The family of the woman, who was nicknamed as Xiaojie in Chinese media reports, said her husband, Zhang Yifan, killed her in a swimming pool (pictured) at a villa in Phuket in October


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Back in China, Tianjin police agreed to set up an investigation into a claim of fraud against Zhang made by the woman’s parents.

The parents said they hoped Zhang could be extradited to China, where they believed he is more likely to be sentenced to death if found guilty of killing his wife. 

The couple arrived at the Thai island with their 20-month-old daughter for a family vacation on October 27, according to the report. Three days later, the man told his parents-in-law that his wife drowned in the hotel pool on October 29.

However, Xiaojie’s father suspected Zhang was lying because her daughter was a good swimmer. He doubted that she could have drowned in the pool, which was about 1.4 metres (4.5 feet) deep. 

A photo of the suspect, Zhang Yifan, found in the victim’s phone

Other relatives of the woman found 18 life insurance policies bought by Zhang at the couple’s home. The total payout was worth more than £3.8 million with Zhang as the sole beneficiary

On October 31, Zhang, his in-laws and other relatives arrived at Phuket to deal with the aftermath of Xiaojie’s death. 

At the coroner’s office at Patong Hospital, they discovered that her body was covered in bruises and abrasions, which further confirmed their suspicion of foul play. 

Xiaojie’s uncle then suggested reporting the death to Thai police in order to seek compensation from the hotel, to which Zhang agreed. He was then held at the Kamala police station for questioning. 

Several hours later, Zhang confessed to police that he had killed his wife because he ‘didn’t want to be with her anymore’, according to the report.  

Other relatives of the victim found 18 life insurance policies bought by Zhang at the couple’s home. The total payout was worth more than 33 million yuan (£3.8 million) with Zhang as the sole beneficiary.

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