By Benjamin Cost
Rumor has it that so-called steel thieves in Wuhan have been appropriating steel from the Yangtze bridge construction site and vending it as scrap metal. According to one netizen, surnamed Wang, who claims to have spied on the steel coppers and even allegedly took photos, the robbers are not just your run-of-the mill crooks but sophisticated steel-nabbers of the highest caliber.
One woman reportedly made a whopping 100,000 yaun selling pilfered steel while others employed trucks to help execute their robberies. It’s almost like the Italian Job without the Italians and or the precious metal. The Chinese job?
The construction site’s security guards allegedly felt utterly powerless to stop this “steeling,” stating they could not do anything about it. So what are they there for again?
If the story is in fact, true, steel-knicking could be the latest chapter in the long saga of China’s construction woes, including the Wujiang Road fire, the rampant lack of construction oversight and the kickbacks local Shanghai governments receive from construction companies.
If not, the story deserves a place among similar tales like “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”