Chapter 116: Case Within a Case

On January 4th, the court case regarding the murder of the uncle who played online games officially began. Lin Dongxue and Chen Shi went to listen to the hearing. The evidence collected by the police was very thorough and sufficient enough for proof. After half a day of trial, the defendant Deng Zhongming was convicted of intentional homicide and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

During the entire trial, Deng Zhongming was in a daze as if the case wasn’t related to himself. When he was taken away by the police, he suddenly broke free from the bailiff and said a word to his defense attorney before being forcibly taken away.

Chen Shi went to the lawyer and asked, "What did he just say to you? We are the police officers involved in the case and would like to know if it is related to the case."

Lin Dongxue reprimanded in a whisper, "You don’t even bat an eye anymore when you pretend to be a police officer, huh?"

"It should have nothing to do with the case." The attorney answered, "He asked me to call Shengshi Company and ask if he could play the online game after 20 years."

"What a player!"

When they left the court, Chen Shi said, "That child, Tao Yueyue, makes everyone a bit speechless."

"What happened this time?"

Chen Shi recalled the incident last time where she retaliated against her classmates. Lin Dongxue was shocked. "No way? These methods are comparable to criminals!”

"I am really worried that after she grows up, she will use her intelligence in the wrong way… This child doesn’t like to play. She only knows how to learn and study. All the teachers in her classes praised her for her studying, as she understands things as soon as she’s taught it. It’s causing me so many headaches. I’m thinking about whether to buy her a game console or a Barbie doll so that she becomes as lazy and playful as a normal child."

"You can't just give her pocket money and not care about her."

"How can I care about her? A big man like myself getting too close to a little girl… I’m afraid that it would cause suspicion."

"That’s why I still think that she needs a mother."

"Would you like to take care of her for a few days?"

Lin Dongxue waved her hands at him. "I can't do it. I’m so busy at work. Where would I find the time?”

"What are you busy with?"

"It’s still the insurance fraud case. I have seen many cases of insurance companies’ claims in recent years. They’ve had a lot of cases of insurance fraud. I suspect that there’s a person in the shadows directing them. However, these people are the ones who benefit from the pay-outs, so they won’t say the names of their superiors even if they were in a life or death situation.”

"Who’s the middle-men selling these insurances for them to profit from?”

"A large part of the cases were sold by an agent called Yang Lan. This person has gone through multiple insurance companies during his career. His whereabouts are unknown at this moment. I don't know if this person is the person behind the scenes."

Chen Shi asked whether or not she wanted to have a meal. Lin Dongxue was about to agree when she received a phone call from Lin Qiupu. He asked, "Has the trial finished?"

"Yeah, what’s up?"

"While we were dealing with the evidence of the gaming uncle, we found something that might be related to the insurance case you are working on."

"I’ll come back immediately!" Lin Dongxue hung up the phone and said with enthusiasm, "There’s no such thing as a dead end! My brother found some clues. We should hurry back."

Lin Qiupu was at the physical evidence center at this moment in time. Once a case has concluded, some of the physical evidence is destroyed while others of higher value are handed over to their families and beneficiaries as mementos. The gaming uncle and his son both died on the same day. The only remaining legal beneficiary was his ex-wife.

It had been nearly a month since the incident, but the ex-wife who worked out of town hadn’t appeared once. Lin Qiupu felt a bit down about it. Today, the Internet department of the police force found that her bank account had an extra 2 million yuan. It was the life insurance pay-out for her ex-husband and son.

Out of professional work-habits, Lin Qiupu investigated further and found that the gaming uncle not only had personal life insurance, but he also bought himself a disability insurance policy; the date of which the policy took effect was a few days before the incident. 

After listening to the findings, Lin Dongxue said, "It’s impossible to conclude that his wife is a suspect of the insurance fraud with just this information. Buying insurance is a normal business practice."

"What about this then?!" Lin Qiupu put a copy of several insurance contracts on the table.

Lin Dongxue looked at the name of the agent written down on the contracts - Yang Lan. She was so surprised that her mouth hung open. "It’s this person again?"

"I think this may be related to the insurance fraud case. If you need this evidence, then keep it for now."

Chen Shi glanced at the table. On the table was all the evidence related to the gaming uncle. The strange mask that they found previously was also on the table. He muttered to himself, "Disability insurance?" Then, he picked up the mask and buckled it on his face in thought. 

After putting down the mask, he asked, "What was the financial situation of the gaming uncle?"

Lin Qiupu responded, "He worked in a foreign company with a monthly income of over 40,000 yuan. It’s considered pretty good. However, the money spent in-game is even more surprising with an average of 100,000 yuan spent per month. In order to play the game, he sold the house and car. He even borrowed a high-interest loan from loan-sharks. It would be hard to even pay for the monthly interest.”

"His game account must be very valuable."

"Yes, it is considered personal property. If it was sold by his wife along with the other mementos, the value of this account would be higher than four million yuan!"

"Although I’m not addicted to the game, if I had such an account, I would die a happy death."

"Why are we talking about the game again?!" Lin Dongxue interrupted them. "Chen Shi, what do you think this mask is used for? We never figured it out."

Chen Shi took up the mask and hypothesized, "This mask is very strange. It covers one eye and leaves the other open. There is a stick below as well, making it a bit like a welder's mask. It seems to be used for some kind of protection..."

"Since it’s for a protective function, why not cover both eyes?"

"The person who made it is deliberately trying to break only one eye. Just now you mentioned that the gaming uncle bought himself disability insurance and that he needs money for playing games..."

Chen Shi left it at that and allowed Lin Dongxue to think about it herself. She indulged in this line of thought for a while before clapping her hands in understanding. "This is a tool used to forge accidents! By using the mask to cover his face and splashing it with corrosive liquid, it would make one eye blind and seem like an accident.”

"Insurance companies wouldn’t recognize that kind of accident, right?" Chen Shi said, "If it’s an accident, it must be a danger that can happen in daily life. Right, we need to look at his mementos!"

Chen Shi opened the mobile phone and landed on a shipping website. All the items on this table were from this. Chen Shi found a very bulky CRT monitor which had a cathode ray tube.

These days, LCD monitors have become popular. Why would anyone buy such a monitor to use? Chen Shi remembered that when he went into the gaming uncle's home to investigate, the monitor on the table was an LCD monitor. 

Lin Dongxue noticed Chen Shi’s reaction and immediately searched the Internet. “The monitor produced by this company seems to have quality problems. There was an explosion incident previously... He bought this monitor to injure one of his eyes to get the insurance money to continue playing the game?"

"If the person behind this did a good job of it, he could even sue the manufacturer and get compensated for it. It’s really killing two birds with one stone… This monitor may have been tampered with to make it defective. Don’t let anyone purchase it from the site or it may hurt innocent people.”

"Hurry up and buy it."

Chen Shi was about to do so when the site showed that the items had been sold. The two exchanged glances in surprise…

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