German prosecutors do not think that Hiannick Kamba tried to fake his death. But they are not so sure that Kamba’s wife cashed out on his “six-figure” insurance payment with satisfactorily legal means.
Kamba was thought dead after he was involved in an accident along with friends when he visited his native DR Congo in 2016. He had taken no phone, ID documents or money with him when he and his friends took that drive in the “interior” of Congo.
Kamba, now 33, did not grow up in Congo. In 1986, his family fled political violence to Germany but when the family was deported back to DR Congo in 2005, Kamba was permitted to stay because he was in the youth team at German top-flight soccer side Schalke 04.
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The German-Congolese is said to have been a promising soccer player. But whatever promise he held was also perhaps because he was trained by one of the best youth soccer academies in the world.
Among Kamba’s mates in the Schalke youth side was current German national team captain Manuel Neuer. While Neuer and others headed up, Kamba’s professional career was plied with mostly lower-league sides.
Then 29-year-old Kamba was playing for VFB Huls, a team in the eighth-tier of German soccer leagues hierarchy when he “died” in 2016.
VFB Huls even paid tribute to their former player saying “[Kamba] represented the ideas and values of our club like few others. His demise will leave a big gap. Hiannick is undoubtedly a bitter sporting loss for us, but primarily we will miss it as a fellow human being.”
Unknown to the soccer team and to many more, Kamba was alive.
Not much is also known about what happened to Kamba between that fateful January day in 2016 and that time in 2018 when he walked into the German embassy in Kinshasa.
“Kamba claims he was abandoned by friends overnight in Congo in January 2016 and left without documents, money and a cell phone,” said Essen city attorney general, Annette Milk.
Kamba told the German embassy that he had been declared dead because he was not found.
But Milk is putting together a case against Kamba’s ex-wife, who after reportedly getting news of her husband’s death, arranged for certifications in order to pursue Kamba’s insurance money.
Attorney general Milk does not believe Kamba’s ex-wife attained the certification of her husband’s death through the right means in DR Congo. Which would, therefore, mean that the former Mrs. Kamba did not herself believe her husband was dead.
Kamba has a 10-year-old child with his ex-wife. The woman denies all of the charges of fraud that have been leveled against her but prosecutors intend to call on her former husband as a witness in court.
The German news outlet Bild reported that Kamba is now working as a chemical technician with an energy company in Ruhr, Germany’s largest urban district.