Briefs, February 13, 2013

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 February, 2013, 5:03am

Con man nets US$156m in US residency scam

Some 250 mainlanders had their dreams of living in America dashed when an investment programme into which they put money turned out to be fake. Anshoo Sethi, a 29-year-old Illinois resident, is alleged to have conned the investors out of more than US$156 million by convincing them that they were participating in a programme to acquire residency in the United States. He told each of them to purchase US$500,000 worth of securities from two firms he created and wire an additional US$41,500 "administrative fee" for a visa. Sethi's scheme has since been brought to a halt, but the Securities and Exchange Commission said 90 per cent of the US$11 million in fees had already been spent. Sethi transferred US$2.5 million of the funds into his bank account in Hong Kong. Staff Reporter


Trawler captain held in Japan for illegal fishing

Japan has detained the captain of a Chinese trawler for fishing in the exclusive economic zone it claims. China News Service reported that Guo Xianliang, captain of a trawler registered in Zhejiang province, was detained on January 9 for illegal fishing and Japanese authorities were investigating. Staff Reporter


Smog in Hebei delays flights, shuts highways

Flights to and from Hebei airport in Shijiazhuang city were delayed yesterday morning because of smog, which also caused the temporary shutdown of highways in the province. Most flights resumed in the afternoon. Roads in Handan city, in the south of the province, were the hardest hit, as smog and icy conditions forced authorities to shut all highways. The authorities issued an orange warning for smog, meaning visibility was below two kilometres. The China Meteorological Administration said the mainland will have more "favourable" weather towards the end of the week as winds and snowfall weaken in northern areas and light rainfall continues in the south. Snowfall will also ease in parts of Xinjiang , Inner Mongolia , Heilongjiang and Shandong over the next two days, the agency said. Southern regions of the country including Jiangnan, Jianghuai and Huanan will experience light rainfall during the next three days, according to the administration. Icy weather last week hindered travel in the run-up to the Lunar New Year, the world's biggest annual human migration. The number of passengers travelling by train declined from last week on Sunday and yesterday, the first two days of the Lunar calendar, according to a report on the Ministry of Railways' website. Staff Reporter, Bloomberg