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China: Around The Nation

Scam artists in Southern China give money laundering a new meaning

Foreigners and local accomplice arrested in Guangzhou for duping woman of millions with promises of ‘dyed dollar notes’ back to real currency

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 July, 2017, 6:21pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 July, 2017, 6:21pm

Two foreigners and a local associate have been arrested in Southern China for cheating a woman of 4.25 million yuan (US$625,000) by claiming they could paper dyed black into US dollars.

The two foreigners, were are residents of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, were identified by their surnames Johnson and Dodo, although their nationalities were not revealed.

They convinced the victim, whom they met online, that they had a suitcase full of what looked like black paper but was actually US$1.4 million dollars worth of US banknotes that had been dyed black million and smuggled into China.

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They offered to sell the special “chemical agents” to wash the dye off the money, local media reported.

The victim was a woman from Wuhan surnamed Li. She said that Johnson, who used the pseudonym “Anderson”, demonstrated how the money was washed in front of her, according to Guangzhou’s New Express Daily.

Li said that during their meeting in a hotel room, Johnson applied the chemicals to some of the black paper, and washed them in clean water. Soon the paper turned into US dollar notes.

She said she believed she was looking after the money for an “American engineer” who was working on an offshore oil rig, and to whom she had lent money through the two men. The borrowed money plus a “bonus for her trouble” would be paid to her with converted cash.

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She paid several times for a “recovering agent”, “preservatives”, “shipping fees and storage fees” and “incubators” over the following months, but did not receive any money. She then called the police.

The suspect repeated the trick in front of the police, and admitted they had processed and recovered genuine money in their first demonstration to Li, but the rest was just paper, the report said.

The case is still under investigation.