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November 2, 2009

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Police probe teacher's loans from parents

YANGPU District police are investigating an English teacher who borrowed more than 140,000 yuan (US$20,500) from parents of her primary school students without repaying the debt.

The teacher surnamed Xu, a 35-year-old single woman, has to report her whereabouts regularly to police while inquiries are continuing.

Police said they are still handling the case as a debt contract dispute because part of the debts have not yet fallen due. The reason she borrowed money is still being investigated.

Neighbors said Xu and her mother had been trapped by a swindler who scammed them into investing in unlisted stocks and had suffered huge losses.

Some parents of pupils at Shidong Primary School complained to media at the weekend that Xu had been borrowing money from them since September.

The debts ranged from several hundred yuan to more than 10,000 yuan in one case.

"For the sake of my child, I agreed to lend the money though I felt it was a little bit weird," said a parent surnamed Yang, who lent Xu 5,000 yuan. "I was afraid my child would be treated unfairly if I refused her request."

Xu managed to borrow more than 140,000 yuan from at least 18 parents, according to a preliminary investigation by the school.

She gained their trust by visiting them at home, first talking about their child's progress and then asking for money before leaving. Xu wrote IOUs each time, the parents said.

Xu disappeared early last week for a few days. Only then did parents contact each other and realize she had borrowed money from more than one family.

Shidong school has reported the case to the education management department and will cooperate with police.


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