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German soccer player presumed dead in 2016 car crash found alive

Investigators are looking into fraud after Hiannick Kamba, an ex-pro soccer player who was presumed dead after a 2016 car crash in Congo, was found to be alive and living in Germany.
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/ Source: TODAY

A Congolese soccer player who was presumed dead in a 2016 car crash is actually alive and in Germany, where he used to play professionally, prompting a fraud investigation, authorities said.

Hiannick Kamba, now 33, was thought to have died on Jan. 9, 2016 in Congo, according to an obituary from his soccer team, VfB Hüls. It called Kamba an "energetic" person who always put his team first.

Anette Milk, a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office in Essen, Germany, told NBC News Thursday that Kamba "had very recently returned to Germany." The ex-soccer pro had apparently visited the German embassy in Kinshasa, Congo, in 2018, and expressed the desire to return to the country, Milk said.

“The officials had no reasonable doubts about his identity,” Milk told NBC News.

Now, authorities have launched an insurance fraud investigation involving a 39-year-old woman who was believed to have been married to Kamba.

The woman, who is from Germany but has not been identified by name, was "suspected of claiming and receiving insurance money in the knowledge that Mr. Kamba had not (died),” Milk said.

The woman allegedly received "a low seven digit amount (in euros)," Milk told People.

Neither Kamba nor the woman have been charged with a crime. People reported the couple has a 10-year-old child together. It wasn't clear if they were still in a relationship.

Currently, Kamba was believed to be working with an "energy supplier" in Germany, Milk said.