Why A Student From Taiwan Amputated His Own Leg…And Faced Major Regrets Afterwards

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This article includes descriptions of graphic content that may disturb some readers.

A 23-year-old student from Taiwan did something extreme that he now regrets.

Last year, a man named Zhang decided to amputate his leg based on a suggestion from his friend, Liao. The latter, also 23-years old, suffered major losses while trading cryptocurrency. He tricked Zhang into signing a note that said he owed $800,000 USD on his behalf. He increased the urgency of paying this huge sum back by claiming his friend was being chased by gangsters until the debt is paid.

In order to do so, Zhang took out several high-ticket life insurance, travel insurance, and accident insurance policies for a total of $1.3 million USD in insurance payouts. Then on January 26, 2023, he and Liao rode around Taipei on a motorbike at night with the goal of claiming he was frostbitten by the winter weather, thus being able to claim the sizeable sum.

Zhang went home after the hours-long ride and plunged his feet in a bucket of dry ice for more than 10 hours. He was so badly frozen, he had to be amputated from the calf down. He was able to claim $7,200 USD from one insurer before medical staff alerted the police to the inconsistencies in his story.


For one, his legs did not have any marks from the shoes or socks that he would have been wearing if he were stuck outside in the cold. His injuries were also too symmetrical to be real, and most of all, the weather was only five degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit) that night.

As Taiwan is a subtropical region, cases of severe frostbite requiring amputation are unheard of due to natural climatic conditions.

Taiwan Criminal Investigation Bureau

The Taiwan Criminal Investigation Bureau soon found the plastic bucket used to freeze his feet as well as insurance documents, a white polystyrene box for dry ice, eight mobile phones, and a tablet computer.

Liao and Zhang were both arrested on January 17, 2024. They have been charged with fraud and aiding and abetting serious injury, says the bureau.


Zhang now has to return the $7,200 USD that he claimed from one insurer.

Source: Yahoo News

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