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August 17, 2009

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Fraudster targets the wealthy

PUDONG New Area police warn people to be careful after they caught a man who allegedly swindled 1 million yuan (US$146,304) from wealthy individuals.

The Shanghai native lost the swindled money gambling in Macau, according to Pudong police.

Police said the victims were young people from wealthy families and warned them to be careful when making friends.

One of the victims surnamed Liu, a native of Zhejiang Province, was introduced to the suspect in March by a mutual friend.

"He said his family had a big 'underground' bank in Hong Kong and had business in Europe and America," Liu told police.

He believed the story and thought the suspect was from Hong Kong.

The 35-year-old suspect always wore designer clothes, spoke Mandarin with a Hong Kong accent and claimed to own a luxury apartment near Xintiandi and two Porsches, Liu told police.

Liu befriended the suspect and introduced him to a lot of friends for business.

The suspect then said he had some financial problems and asked to borrow money from Liu, who lent him a total of 300,000 yuan.

"I am a business man and it's normal for me to have hundreds of thousands of yuan," Liu told police

Two of Liu's friends also lent large sums to the suspect, police said.

The suspect was caught at Pudong International Airport in June.

The suspect, who had a criminal record, went to Macau 20 times within six weeks to gamble and lost all the money, said police.

"He flew to Macau in the morning and flew back to Shanghai at night," a police officer said. "He didn't even change clothes."

The police found the suspect's luxury apartment was a small, old apartment near Xintiandi and that the two Porsches never existed.


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