Soccer Player Found Alive Four Years After Reported Death in Car Crash, Ex-Wife Investigated For Insurance Fraud

A soccer player who allegedly died four years ago has reportedly been found alive and well in Germany, while his ex-wife is under investigation for insurance fraud.

Hiannick Kamba played for eight-tier outfit VfB Huls, when he was reported to have died in a car crash in his native Congo in January 2016.

Earlier this year, however, the 33-year-old was spotted working in Gelsenkirchen in Germany's Ruhr region, where he works as a chemical technician for an energy supply company.

Kamba lived in Gelsenkirchen while playing in the youth team of Bundesliga side Schalke 04 alongside the likes of Thomas Neuer, the current Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper.

According to public prosecutor Anette Milk, Kamba told German authorities that while in Congo in 2016 he had embarked on an overnight trip with friends. His companions, however, allegedly left him stranded after stripping him of his cell phone, money and documents.

"Kamba claims he was abandoned by friends overnight in Congo in January 2016 and left without documents, money and a cell phone," Milk was quoted as saying by German newspaper Bild.

German prosecutors have since launched an investigation after Kamba's ex-wife, who reportedly collected a life insurance payment in the region of "low six figures" after the player was reported dead.

According to Bild, the woman presented documents proving the her ex-husband's death to the insurance company after realizing she was entitled to a life insurance payout. Following Kamba's reappearance, however, his ex-wife is being investigated for fraud as prosecutors believe the documents she provided were forged.

Milk confirmed that Kamba's ex-wife was "accused of fraud, but she denies the fact. The proceedings are still ongoing."

The prosecutor added Kamba will be considered a witness in the trial of his ex-wife, with whom he shares a 10-year-old child. The former player maintains he was unaware of her actions.

Kamba's family fled Congo to move to what was then West Germany in 1986, but his relatives were deported back to Congo 19 years later. Kamba, however, was allowed to remain in Germany and was granted asylum owing to his status of Schalke 04 youth player.

He eventually became a legal resident and spent most of his career across Germany's lower leagues after Schalke released him.

Once news of Kamba's death emerged, VfB Huls went as far as publishing an obituary for the supposedly deceased right-back.

"He represented the ideas and values ​​of our club like few others. His demise will leave a big gap," the club said in a statement at the time. "Hiannick is undoubtedly a bitter sporting loss for us, but primarily we will miss him as a fellow human being."

[File photo] A ball with the logo of the Bundesliga is seen prior to the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Munchen and FC Schalke 04 at Allianz Arena on February 10, 2018 in Munich, Germany. Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty