2 arrested for 6.5 million yuan fraud
DALIAN: Local police have arrested two people for defrauding more than 200 workers hoping to be employed overseas out of 6.5 million yuan (US$793,000).
In June 2003, Lei Yuan, 39, got to know a 69-year-old ethnic Korean woman surnamed Cui who claimed she had a quota to send expatriate labour to South Korea.
A deal was soon struck between the two and a company formed.
Lei was in charge of recruiting labourers who each had to pay 35,000 yuan (US$4,300) for the service while Cui was supposed to handle the procedures for sending them abroad.
Then Lei began to tell her acquaintances that she could handle the prospective expatriate labourers and started charging each 55,000 yuan (US$6,600).
Lei pocketed 20,000 yuan (US$2,400) and the rest went to Cui.
She was also asking others to recruit labourers, and offered kickbacks of 5,000 yuan (US$600) for each new client.
With tens of people recruited, Lei established an information consulting firm in October 2003 and recruited people through the company in Jinzhou, a suburb of Dalian.
To ease the doubts of applicants, Lei arranged for so-called interviews, medical check-ups, and even language training, to delay the date many expected to be sent overseas.
Those more eager to work abroad were asked to pay more to take part in training.
Many applicants did not have enough money and were forced to borrow cash for the service.
One victim even paid as much as 63,000 yuan (US$7,600).
From June 2003 to the beginning of 2005, the firm failed to send a single applicant abroad. In mid-March, some of the firm's clients went to the police to report their misgivings.
Police then discovered that 200-plus people had paid Lei and Cui at least 6.5 million yuan over the course of 18 months in the hope they would be sent to work overseas.
It turned out that Cui did not have any qualifications or credentials to run such a business and with the money she had made bought a jeep and registered a food company.
Officials from the Dalian Municipal Public Security Bureau warned that quite a number of information consulting firms had been found swindling money from hopeful labourers in the name of expatriate labour services throughout the nation in recent years.
(China Daily 05/25/2005 page3)