Nine people have been arrested for their role in the country's biggest car loan scam, in which a single bank branch was fleeced of 510 million yuan. Five employees of a Beijing-based trading company, including the company's legal representative, Huo Min , allegedly fabricated car buyers' personal information to apply for car loans from the Agriculture Bank of China's Beijing Changping branch, China Central Television reported yesterday. The company had registered capital of 20 million yuan and borrowed 510 million yuan from the bank between June 2003 to February 2005, accounting for 80 per cent of the branch's total car loans. Huo, 40, used the money to invest in a concrete plant and spring water bottling plant in Inner Mongolia, earlier media reports said. Authorities had yet to recover 336 million yuan of the pilfered funds, the report said. Four bank employees, who oversaw the branch's personal finance department, also were arrested for failing to make credit checks before approving the loans. '[The accused] acted against the law and approved loans of 510 million yuan without strictly checking the purpose of the loans, the borrowers' repayment capacity and repayment method,' the report said, citing an indictment presented to the Beijing No1 Intermediate People's Court. Even when the four were aware of the fake application documents, they continued to approve loans. 'The procurator believes the four have committed the crime of illegally providing loans,' the report said. A bank spokesman could not be reached for comment yesterday. People's Bank of China statistics show that 180 billion yuan in car loans were approved in 2004, but more than half were bad loans. Last year, bad car loans in Beijing reached as much as 15 billion yuan. Last September, the Beijing No1 Intermediate People's Court sentenced four men from five years to life in jail for their roles in another car loan scam in which 140 million yuan was siphoned from three banks within two years.