Police nab 196 people over pyramid selling in south China

10:13, March 20, 2011      

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Chinese police have cracked down a pyramid selling ring involving 198 people that operated in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region for five years, according to local public security authorities.

Many of the suspects were under judicial investigation and legal authorities have frozen or sequestrated their illegal assets, including 18 million yuan (2.74 million U.S. dollars) in 231 bank accounts, 17 vehicles and 25 apartments, according to economic crime officers with Guangxi's Public Security Bureau.

Those who were trapped in the scam were required to seduce more people to join the scheme in the name of investing in the real estate market amid a regional development drive.

Instead of selling any apartments, the ring made profit by cheating and forcing its members to turn in at least 50,800 yuan (7,732 U.S. dollars) as operational fees.

The ring, without registering any offices, just operated in hotels or rented houses.

It is the largest such case that police have ever nabbed in Guangxi in terms of the number of people and amount of money involved, police authorities said.

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