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A former footballer is facing up to ten years in jail after allegedly faking his own death.
Ex-Schalke defender Hiannick Kamba has now gone on trial, accused of pretending to be dead so that his ex-wife could get a multi-million-dollar insurance payout.
In 2016, during his time with lower league side VfB Huls, it was reported that Kamba had been tragically killed in car crash in his home country of Congo.
At the time, tributes came flooding in for the football star with fans paying their respects and sending messages of support to the family.
But four years later, Kamba miraculously reappeared in Germany, alive and well.
An investigation into the bizarre sequence of events was immediately launched with prosecutors quickly discovering that Kamba's ex-wife Christina allegedly collected a 'six-figure life insurance payment' after the player's supposed death.
Kamba's former partner claimed she was eligible for the life insurance payout, presenting documents of his pronounced death to the insurance company, who in turn coughed up the money.
"The defendant turned up at the German Embassy in Kinshasa two years later, claiming he had been kidnapped," Essen court spokesman Thomas Kliegel told German media.
Now, 12 months after he was found alive in the German city of Gelsenkirchen, Kamba and Christina are appearing before a German court.
If the ex-footballer-turned- chemical technician is found guilty of orchestrating the fraudulent scheme, he could be slapped with a 10-year prison sentence.
Christina's lawyer Michael Wolff insisted that his client was innocent and was completely unaware of the scam.
"We are convinced that by the end of the trial both the prosecutors and the court will be convinced of my client's innocence," Wolff said.
"The money is still available, and it has since been seized. It has been invested in a house and put into accounts."
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