Police bust pyramid scheme promising Chinese students luxury cars and cash

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 September, 2017, 12:08pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 September, 2017, 10:24pm

More than 110 people were detained in a crackdown on an illegal pyramid scheme in China that targeted college students, promising them cash and luxury cars, according to a newspaper report.

About 300 police took part in the raids in Chengdu in Sichuan province, the Chengdu Evening News reported.

More than 70 per cent of the people held were college students, with many from outside the area, the report said.

The members of the pyramid scheme lived together in flats and were promised they would earn a luxury car in three months and at least 1 million yuan (US$154,000) within a year.

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They had to invest 69,800 yuan each in the scheme and then lure as many as newcomers as they could to pump in cash.

The scheme claimed people getting 29 others to invest could make 10.4 million yuan within two years. The average yearly salary for young, white-collar workers in cities in China is about 50,000 yuan.

Police investigated 2,826 pyramid scheme cases in China last year, 19.1 per cent up on 2015, according to the Ministry of Public Security.