“His skin colour is not right”: Woman arrested for using uncle’s corpse to get a bank loan

Editor’s note: This article includes video footage that may be disturbing to some viewers.

A woman has been arrested for allegedly wheeling her deceased uncle into a bank to try to get him to sign off on a bank loan.

Folha, a Brazilian daily newspaper, reports that on April 16, a woman identified as 42-year-old Érika de Souza Vieira brought her uncle Paulo Roberto Braga, 68, to a bank in Bangu, a neighbourhood in the western zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Vieira told employees that her uncle wanted to withdraw a loan of R$17,000 (C$4,513).

Vieira stated in her testimony that her uncle wanted to withdraw money “because he wanted to buy a television and carry out a renovation in his residence.”

“Uncle, can you hear me? If you don’t sign, it won’t work,” said the woman, who tried to get the wheelchair-bound man to sign the document.

“He’s not well. His skin colour is not right,” said one employee.

“But that’s just how he is,” responded Vieira.

Bank employees, who became suspicious, called the police and filmed the incident.

Investigating officer Fábio Luiz Souza told Globo News that the man had been dead for at least two hours, with Braga showing signs of livor mortis.

Local newspaper O Dia reports that Vieira was arrested and charged with violating a corpse and attempted theft through fraud.

Vieira’s lawyer, Ana Carla Corrêa, insists that her client is innocent.

“The facts did not occur as has been narrated,” said Corrêa. “Paulo was alive when he arrived at the bank. All of this will be cleared up.”

“I have never come across a story like this in 22 years [as a cop],” said Souza.

In her testimony, Viera said that her uncle fell ill and was hospitalized for five days with pneumonia.

The police are looking for the cab driver who took Viera and her uncle to the bank.

Netizens expressed their shock and disgust.

A similar incident happened last year in Ireland when two men carried a deceased man to a post office to claim his pension. When a woman became suspicious and alerted staff, the men fled and abandoned the man at the scene.