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November 2, 2011

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Fraud is latest in financial crime rise

HUANGPU District prosecutors yesterday charged a 25-year-old man with fraud for allegedly conning female college students out of 6,500 yuan (US$1,000) and two cellphones.

The suspect, surnamed Yu, is said to have pretended to be a foreigner in trouble, using fake identity cards from Singapore, as well as Hong Kong and Macau.

Yu is alleged to have told prosecutors he came up with the idea after watching similar cases on TV, and targeted the students because they were "naive."

Yu was one of many suspects involved in fraud cases this year, part of an increase in financial crime nationwide, according to a report released yesterday during the first Financial Procuratorial Forum.

The report said the total number of financial crime cases in China rose from about 4,000 in 2006 to about 12,000 last year.

Over the five-year period, more than 50,000 suspects involved in 30,000 cases were charged with various financial crimes including fraud, bribery and illegal business operations.

Yesterday a state-level committee specializing in financial crime was established to improve prosecution work.

The committee is mandated to discover legal loopholes used in financial crimes by analyzing reported cases, and to provide prosecutors with professional advice in dealing with such cases.

Shanghai topped the number of financial crimes compared with other cities and provinces, accounting for more than 10 percent of the total number over five years, despite taking a leading role in establishing specialist units to combat financial crime.

Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces took second and third place, with 9.24 percent and 8.48 percent respectively, the report said.


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