DESPERATE Spaniards suffering during the country’s recession have been caught hacking off part of their own bodies to claim insurance payouts.
One man cut off his hand with a saw but told insurers he’d been in a car crash to claim €2.4 million in compensation.
Investigators discovered the 35-year-old’s fraud when they realised his ‘clean’ injuries did not tally with those expected from a road accident and they could not find his supposedly mangled vehicle.
Another desperate man, from Valencia, used a chainsaw to chop off his arm above the elbow before putting in a claim for €655,000.
Spain has been battered by a crippling recession , with the jobless total in March soaring to 6.2 million.
It means a staggering 27.2 per cent of adults, and 57 per cent of 18 to 25-year-olds , are now out of work.
A report by the Investigation Co-operative of Insurance Companies revealed false claims have rocketed by 50 per cent in the past five years, reaching 146,792 in 2012.
Its chairman, José Antonio Sánchez , said: ‘This rise matches the economic crisis situation which we are in.’
The report said the Spanish insurance industry spent €10 million each year investigating possible fraud.