A fake bank set up on a high street in China's Jiangsu province has managed to go undetected for over a year, conning customer out of more than £21m.
The rural financial cooperative posing as a large bank promised two per cent interest a week on deposits and high interest subsidies. More than 200 people are believed to have fallen for the con, the South China Morning Post reports.
It was made to look identical to a real state-owned bank with official looking logos, large LED screens, and staff in professional uniforms.
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Police were finally alerted to the scam after a businessman noticed he had stopped earning interest on the £8m he had deposited, and the bank refused to return his savings.
Five people have been arrested in connection with the scam, including one woman who was intercepted as she attempted to flee to the well-known gambling centre of Macau, according to the BBC.
Shocked that the illegal bank was allowed to operate for over a year before police noticed, residents took to social media to question local authorities. "More than a year, it looks like the authorities have gone blind," one Weibo user said. "Fake banks, and a fake local government," commented another.
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