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March 6, 2013

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'Band-Aid scam' used for free food, cash

A MAN was sentenced to eight months in prison and fined 1,000 yuan (US$161) for planting bandages in food as a way to extort free meals and compensation from four high-end hotels, the Changning District People's Court said yesterday.

Prosecutors said the convict, Wu Bin, put a bandage he had ready in his food and asked to see the hotel manager to handle the "scandal."

Wue said hotel managers usually would give Wu a free meal and sometimes a red envelop containing free coupons and cash to protect the hotel's reputation. He successfully used the ruse four times in October at four and five-star hotels, extorting about 3,500 yuan, the court heard. Wu said he had the idea of the "Band-Aid scam" because he once ingested a condiment pack in food and the hotel canceled his bill and gave him 388 yuan in cash.

Prosecutors said he would put the bandage in his soup after leaving a buffet.

"It was a good way to enjoy free meals while making money," Wu said.

But on October 9, Wu tried to extort money from a five-star hotel on Xingguo Road and left without paying the bill. He sent a message to the hotel manager and asked for 998 yuan. The manager thought it odd and called two hotels nearby, which identified Wu as a fraudster.


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