Fugitive factory boss arrested

Updated: 2011-10-24 10:15

(China Daily)

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SHANGHAI - A factory owner from Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, who fled owing wages to some 60 employees, has been arrested in his home province.

Rao Dawei, owner of a shoe factory, was the first private entrepreneur to be arrested since the city introduced measures on Oct 15 to stabilize financial order amid debt problems faced by many businesses.

He was arrested under a national law amendment enacted in February that made it a crime to refuse to pay remuneration.

Rao ran a shoe factory in a rented venue. He owed about 200,000 yuan ($31,200) in wages and another 800,000 yuan to suppliers when his tenancy ended this month.

On the morning of Oct 14, he told his employees that they could have the second half of the day off and their wages would be paid the next day. However, that night, he sold the factory's equipment and fled with his girlfriend to his hometown in Jiangxi province.

The next morning, the employees called police in Wenzhou's Lucheng district, and Rao was caught on Oct 18.

Rao said he fled because of financial difficulties.

Another Wenzhou factory owner lauded the rapid response by the police.

"A quick response to the runaway boss is a signal to all the enterprise owners in the city that running away is not a solution," said Wang Shungang, who owns a factory producing leather bags.

Wenzhou has seen several such owners flee over debt problems in the past few months.