Parents demand the return of 12m yuan in deposits A Hong Kong businessman who runs a private school in Shenzhen has been detained for allegedly misappropriating millions of yuan that parents gave to the school as deposits. Wong Hing-mau, 57, director of the Shenzhen Huamao Experimental School, was said to have embezzled 12 million yuan. The Southern Metropolitan News said Wong had spent the money on property speculation. He was detained on December 29 and many parents are now demanding that the school compensate their losses. The school, an elite boarding institute set up in 1996 in suburban Gongmin township, has nearly 600 teaching staff and 3,000 students. It is considered one of the top 10 private schools in Guangdong. Most students come from Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. One parent said the school required each family to deposit about 160,000 yuan when their children enrolled. They also had to pay 30,000 yuan towards the maintenance of the school. Parents were promised that all deposits would be fully refunded when students graduated or changed schools. But since last year, many parents have complained their deposits were not refunded when their children left the school. The school owes the parents of 93 students about 12 million yuan. Parents also have to pay 13,000 yuan a year in tuition fees. 'My nephew graduated from the school last September. We asked for our deposit back, but so far we haven't received any money,' said one woman from Hong Kong. The Baoan district government has temporarily taken over the school and said it would repay parents out of its own pocket. It promised to refund the money before the end of June. An official said the school would not be closed because of the incident. It was open yesterday and students said they were not worried by the news. The Guangdong Education Department banned schools from taking deposits in 1998. It ordered all educational institutes to return deposits to parents before 2000, but the order was widely ignored.