A trial of five suspects
involved in stealing millions of yuan from a bank began in northern China's
Hebei Province yesterday.
Four bank employees are facing charges of theft and misappropriation in what
has been described as the country's largest ever bank theft.
The Handan Intermediate People's Court heard that Ren Xiaofeng, 34, a vault
manager of the Handan branch of the Agricultural Bank of China, conspired with
Zhao Xuenan and Zhang Qiang who were both employed to guard the vault.
Ren took 200,000 yuan (US$26,300) from the vault and spent it on a lottery.
After he had won on the lottery Ren replaced the money.
But then in March this year Ren conspired with Ma Xiangjing, 37, another
This time Ren took another 50.95 million yuan (US$6.7 million) in bank notes
from the vault. On April 14, the two snatched another 18 million yuan in notes.
The Handan People's Procuratorate has charged Ren and Ma with embezzlement
and charged Zhao and Zhang with misappropriating public funds.
Police arrested Ma in Beijing on April 18 and Ren in a rented house in
Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province a day later. Police said they retrieved about 5.50
million yuan and found the rest had been squandered gambling.
The court did not announce its verdict immediately.