Shanghai companies should be alert to the increasing risk of economic crimes, a public security official said yesterday.
Speaking at a press briefing, Tong Yongzheng, director of the Zhabei branch of the municipal public security bureau, said reports of commercial fraud and illegal fundraising had been on the rise since the second half of last year.
"As the economic situation has worsened, the risk of fraud has increased," he said.
Firms must do all they can to avoid the risks by improving their management procedures and being aware of the financial positions of their business partners, he said.
Shi Weiguo, an employee of Shanghai Yueyun Electronics Co Ltd, said his firm lost 3 million yuan ($435,000) when a check from its customer, Shanghai Jinsheng Electronics Co Ltd, bounced.
"I've known the boss of Jinsheng for more than 10 years, I never expected him to cheat me," Shi said.
Wang Qi, deputy director of the Zhabei bureau, said Jinsheng owed more than 25 million yuan to 20 of its suppliers.
More than 10 million yuan of the missing money has so far been reclaimed and police are trying to find the rest, Wang said.
Tong said: "Given the current economic situation, protecting the interests of local firms is our top priority."