A wily Shandong farmer has been arrested for the rather audacious crime of trying to establish a fake branch of one of the world’s largest banks.
The suspect surnamed Zhang began his operation on July 13. His trusting friend surnamed Liu visited the convincing-looking China Construction Bank branch and deposited 40,000 yuan in cash. Zhang helped his friend with the service and said the money would be saved for three months with an interest of 0.185 yuan per month.
Zhang put quite a bit of effort into his “ghost bank,” stocking it with card readers, passbooks and three teenage tellers.
The scam was revealed a month later when Liu attempted to withdraw that 40,000RMB. Zhang, acting as the head of the bank, found excuses to turn down the request.
Thinking that it was all a tad suspicious, Liu called the local police, they arrived at the shanzhai bank on Wednesday and immediately shut it down.
Police say that Zhang had staffed his bank with his 15-year-old daughter and two of her classmates.
In a televised interview, Zhang told a local reporter that he had in fact applied to join the CCB network but had not been approved. “I just wanted to open a bank,” he explains. “I didn’t think much about it.”
Despite looking the part, this fake bank didn’t do nearly as well as another earlier this year located in Nanjing which managed to swindle some 200 million yuan before getting caught.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via Sina News]