Brazilian Woman Wheels Her Dead Uncle Into the Bank to Withdraw Loan in His Name

By Madz Dizon

Apr 18, 2024 09:05 AM EDT

Brazilian Woman Wheels Her Dead Uncle Into the Bank to Withdraw Bank Loan in His Name
A vehicle of the Federal Police leaves the condominium where Brazilian ex-president Jair Bolsonaro lives, after allegedly searching his home as part of an investigation into allegations of falsifying COVID-19 vaccination certificates, in Brasilia on May 3, 2023. (not the actual photo)
(Photo : EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images)

A Brazilian woman was arrested after shamelessly wheeling her dead uncle into a bank branch and attempting to co-sign a loan with him, in a scene straight out of Weekend at Bernie's.

Erika de Souza Vieira Nunes, 42, drove the lifeless body of Roberto Braga, 68, inside a bank office in Rio de Janeiro's Bangu district on Tuesday, setting off a surreal scene.

Woman Wheels Dead Uncle to Sign, Claim Loan

A video of the awful scene, in which de Souza Vieira Nunes repeatedly props up Braga's lolling head while smiling at concerned bank employees, went viral in Brazil on Tuesday.

He looks to be unconscious as she tries to place a pen in his hand, laying it on a desk next to his photo ID and the papers for the $4,400 loan, according to Reuters.

Staff at the bank in Bangu, a middle-class district on Rio de Janeiro's western suburbs, show concern for Braga's health but are told to stop giving her a "headache" by de Souza Vieira Nunes.

"Are you listening, Uncle?" You have to sign [the contract]. If you don't sign, there's no way, because I can't sign for you," she is heard saying on the video, which staff are said to have started recording after they became suspicious.

One of the bank staff interjects, "I don't think this is legal. He doesn't look well. He's very pale."

Ms. de Souza Vieira Nunes, who claimed to be Braga's carer and niece, says, "But that's how he is. He just does not say anything."

She then addresses the deceased man: "Uncle, if you don't feel well, I can take you to the hospital. Do you want to go back to the hospital?"

Other bank clients can be seen waiting in the background, seemingly unaware of the tragic drama taking place in front of them.

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Erika de Souza Vieira Nunes Failed to Get Uncle's Loan

Eventually, the bank personnel notified de Souza Vieira Nunes that Braga did not appear to be able to consciously consent to the loan and called an ambulance. Paramedics confirmed that he had died, and she was arrested.

She has now been charged with attempted theft by fraud and abuse of a corpse. An autopsy was being conducted to determine the cause of Mr. Braga's death, but authorities have already confirmed that he died many hours before arriving to the bank.

The region's police commander, Fabio Luiz, confirmed the arrest and said an investigation was underway "to find out if he was alive when the loan was arranged and when it dates from".

The unsettling video went viral on Twitter in Brazil, with "cadáver," the Portuguese word for corpse, briefly becoming the top trending topic in the South American country.

According to Telegraph, the incident is similar to a nephew's attempt in 2022 in Carlow, Ireland, to claim the €246 ($262) pension of his deceased uncle, Peadar Doyle, by bringing the 66-year-old's body into the local post office.

Declan Haughney, 41, and his pal Gareth Coakley, 37, were caught on CCTV hauling Doyle's corpse across town while wearing a cap on their way to the post office. Last July, Haughney was sentenced to two years in prison, while Coakley received 18 months.

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