Chinese man poses as safety inspector, shuts down rival factories to help friend

He fraudulently carried out the checks and used fake banners to seal off premises but was stopped by police when he returned and detained for a week

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 3:39pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2018, 3:39pm

A man posing as a safety inspector has been detained for a week after he fraudulently ordered two factories to shut down in eastern China, in a bid to help a friend.

The man, surnamed Zhu, told two factories making baggage and leggings to temporarily close because of fire safety concerns in the city of Yiwu in Zhejiang province, Thepaper.cn reported on Tuesday.

He was attempting to help a friend eliminate the competition in his industry, after hearing that their meetings with several companies in the area had ended in conflict.

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On the morning of May 31, Zhu pretended to be a section chief of the city’s safety supervision bureau and drove to Donghong village in Suxi township using the false name of Zhu Kechang, Yiwu News reported on Saturday.

He proceeded to inspect seven or eight companies, using fake documents and banners from Suxi township government to seal off the premises. He told the companies they could not remove the banners without further checks from him the following day.

“Zhu once worked as a safety production liaison officer under this administration, so he understands the safety production inspection process,” a spokesman from the Yiwu work safety supervision bureau was quoted as saying by Thepaper.cn.

But he added that any inspection must be carried out by two or more people.

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On June 1 a local safety production liaison officer reported Zhu, who was acting alone, to the township safety supervision bureau, according to the report.

That day Zhu returned to tell the companies they must remain shut, but as he was leaving he was stopped by two plain-clothes policemen and found to be carrying 40 fake documents without official stamps.

Zhu was arrested and detained for a week, telling police he committed the crime to help a friend, according to the report.

Yiwu, a city of 1.2 million people, is home to what has become known as the world’s biggest small commodity wholesale market, producing everything from toys to bags.