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China's runaway insurance boss seized in Fiji

By Wang Zhenghua in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-21 07:27

The business of Shanghai's biggest insurance intermediary remained suspended on Tuesday after its runaway controller was captured in Fiji and escorted back to China.

Two clerks at the Shanghai Fanxin Insurance Agency said on Tuesday that the company is still operating but is not dealing with new investment schemes or offering consultancy services after its general manager, Chen Yi, allegedly fled with 500 million yuan ($81.8 million) of company money.

New customers are being told to contact the agency after the investigation is completed, the clerks added.

Last week, the city's insurance watchdog said it had discovered Fanxin was selling unauthorized wealth management products and Chen, dubbed the "beauty manager" by people in the business, had been inaccessible for weeks.

She was reported to have fled to Canada with tens of millions of yuan.

On Monday, the Ministry of Public Security said Chinese police tracked Chen down in partnership with law enforcement officers in Fiji .

After the case was reported to Shanghai police and the ministry, a team was sent to Fiji where Chen was seized with the help of local police, the ministry said. She was escorted back to China on Monday night.

The ministry also asked international law enforcement forces for help, if needed, to capture Chen, it added.

Fanxin, founded in 2007, is primarily a life insurance broker. The company claims to have sold more than 480 million yuan of insurance policies in 2012 alone.

Its partners include Sunshine Insurance Group, Kunlun Health Insurance, Taikang Life Insurance and Happy Life Insurance.

Authorities have yet to disclose when or why Chen fled but another Fanxin executive said the entire company was caught up in her activities.

Chen is the controller of Fanxin, and she and her family own all its shares, Zhu Hao, deputy general manager of Fanxin's business management center, was quoted as saying by news portal

After the scandal became public, customers visited the company's offices to ask for refunds.

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