DCHL distributors banned from visiting Hong Kong

Guangdong authorities warn former sellers not to make trouble and put them on travel blacklist

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 December, 2013, 4:45am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 December, 2013, 4:45am

At least 30 former distributors of products from Digital Crown Holdings HK (DCHL), a Hong Kong-based multilevel marketing company, have been banned from visiting Hong Kong.

The ban was issued two weeks ago by officials from the economic crime investigation section of Zhaoqing Municipal Police Bureau in Guangdong, after some of the distributors took part in a five-day rally in Hong Kong in October, two protesters said.

They said all of the 30-odd people were summoned to the police station and given individual, face-to-face warnings.

"During the meeting, a deputy section head and a police officer warned me not to make any trouble again in Hong Kong. They said our five-day protest in late October had a great negative impact on the image of both Hong Kong and Zhaoqing ," one protester, who requested anonymity, said.

"The officials warned us that the Guangdong immigration department would not allow us to leave because we were all on a blacklist."

Another protestor, who gave her surname as Zhuang, said her family had been warned.

"They even passed our cases to a sub-district office, [in the area] where my family live, to follow up ... My elder brother was told by a street officer that his younger sister was 'a devil who runs an illegal pyramid scheme'," Zhuang said. "The officer urged my parents to tell me to run away as soon as possible."

In fact, only a few Zhaoqing-based former distributors joined the Hong Kong protest, an organiser of the five-day rally said.

The 30-odd people had been targeted by police because they had filed a collective report to the city's economic crime investigation section in mid-October claiming they had been swindled by eight of DCHL's top salespeople based in Zhaoqing. After the report, five of the eight were detained, while three escaped, the organiser said.

"Zhaoqing officials are nervous because they realise we are planning another round of protests," the organiser said. He said all government bodies were busy preparing for year-end assessments and any petition to upper levels of government or across the border could affect local officials' prospects for promotion.

A deputy head of Zhaoqing's economic crime investigation section yesterday refused to comment on the ban, saying the DCHL case had been passed to another department.

The organiser, who formed an alliance with more than 160 other former distributors, said the ban had forced them to postpone their protest plans.

"More and more mainland people are flocking into DCHL's sales centres to seek their dreams of becoming rich. We should keep our protests against DCHL going, because we want to wake up those dreamers," he said.