Would-be models duped into believing they faced a star-studded future paid $17 million to a blacklisted agency, police said yesterday. Chief Inspector Shing Pui-fun said the records of Golden Chance International Development Production seized on Tuesday showed between 300 and 400 people had been recruited as 'models'. 'More than $17 million is involved . . . The figures could rise as our investigation is still going on,' Chief Inspector Shing said. The 45 people, including the operator arrested during the raid, were released on bail of between $1,000 and $50,000. The blacklisting of the company by the Consumer Council - after it received a series of complaints - brought the scam to light. Agency 'recruits' were approached in the street with promises of careers as starlets. Claims of links with pro-China organisations and a guarantee of free training were mentioned when a Post reporter was approached outside an MTR station weeks ago and invited to star in an advertisement for a Japanese food product. 'We are definitely not the kind of agencies which deceive people by asking them to pay a large amount of money for training courses while not providing them any job to do. 'We only take commission. The jobs given to you at the beginning may not give you very high pay, but this will be a good start for your career,' an employee of the company told the reporter. Chief Inspector Liu Kit-ming of the Crime Prevention Bureau said job seekers should be cautious about work offering unreasonably high pay. 'The racketeers always take the form of modelling, artistes or performers agencies, or trading or investment companies,' he said.