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August 14, 2010

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Six arrested as American overcharged for wine

SIX people have been arrested for allegedly charging an expatriate more than 17,000 yuan for wine (US$2,501), prosecutors said yesterday.

Yangpu District Prosecutors' Office approved the arrest of six people, who forced an American man to overpay for the wine in a karaoke parlor.

The prosecutors didn't disclose the name of the foreigner, who was invited by an unemployed man from Anhui Province to have a glass of wine.

The American was carrying little cash and was forced to pay 17,000 yuan with his credit card. The consumed drinks in the karaoke venue had a real value of 700 yuan.

With a great influx of visitors to the city during the Expo period, the prosecutors advised non-locals to contact police immediately if similar incidents occur.

On June 6, the expat took a walk alone outside his hotel in Pudong New Area. Liu Shimeng, one of the suspects, stopped him and invited him in English to have a glass of wine.

The victim agreed, believing it was a good chance to learn more about the city.

The other suspects were already at the karaoke venue. Two women served him ordinary alcohol that they pretended was premium wine. When the expat asked to leave, the gang produced a bill for 17,000 yuan, prosecutors said.

He opposed the bill. The gang told him he couldn't leave until he paid, according to prosecutors. The frightened American then paid with his credit card.

After reaching his hotel, the American called the police.


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