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Body of Evidence

The theft of a van with 12 dead bodies in coffins inside has had unexpected consequences for the undertaker that was delivering them after police announced they were planning to charge him with fraud.

The theft made headline news around the world when the white Mercedes Sprinter van was pinched from a service station in Berlin while the driver was delivering the coffins to a crematorium. The coffins were only found weeks later in woodlands in Krolikow, Poland, with all 12 caskets still intact.

And furious relatives angry enough about the fact that the bodies of their loved ones had been stolen along with the van then discovered that instead of expensive oak and mahogany caskets some of the bodies have been left in simple plywood boxes.

And in particular they were supposed to have been dressed and prepared for a good send off, when in fact many of the bodies still had hospital gowns. In addition some of the corpses still had tubes from the hospital in their arms.

Normally the bodies and the coffins would have been cremated leaving nobody the wiser – but because relatives had to claim their loved ones they realised when they saw the cheap plywood boxes and then identified the bodies that they had been conned.

A group of Polish thieves have been arrested over the thefts and police have confirmed that they are preparing a report that might lead to fraud allegations once it was handed to prosecutors.

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