Wife lets cat out of the bag over welfare scam in Brazil

A health inspector in Brazil got a surprise when he visited a family to weigh their son Billy da Silva Rosa and found out he was a cat, The Times reports.

For seven months, Billy's "father" had claimed a benefit known as "bolsa familia" for the four-year-old, which is paid to poor families who send their children to school rather than work.

As he ran the local programme, which pays for education, basic healthcare and food, it might have appeared to be the perfect scam until his wife unknowingly let the cat out of the bag.

"But Billy is my cat", she reportedly told the heath inspector in surprise when he arrived at her home.

Her husband, a council worker, was dismissed from his position and is expected to face criminal proceedings.