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October 14, 2009

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Pyramid scheme found

CHINESE police cracked a pyramid scheme worth about 1 billion yuan (US$147 million), according to the Ministry of Public Security.

The scheme was operated by a company named "Hong Kong Link World International Sci-tech Ltd," registered in Hong Kong in January 2007, the ministry said on Monday.

The company allured people into the ring by claiming they were selling highly profitable cell phone chips. With the chips, people could view advertisements on their phones and receive rewards.

Each initiate had to pay 999 yuan for five cell phone chips to become a distributor at the lowest level.

The company had enrolled tens of thousands of people into the scheme and sold more than 4.8 million chips.

In July, police detained 10 of the company's senior managers in eastern China's Jiangsu Province.

Three chief suspects, Shi Yongbin, Qiang Kexin and Fu Yanping, have been arrested and confessed to their crimes. The rest were in custody or bailed, it said.

Since late July, a number of affiliates of the company were shut down in Shanxi, Shandong and Henan provinces, the statement said.


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