Chinese police have cracked down on an online pyramid scheme involving 10.2 billion yuan ($1.5bn) and over 220,000 investors, local authorities said Wednesday.
Police in Meishan City, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, caught 82 suspects, who established hundreds of shell companies and 28 fake industrial chains in the fields of construction materials, agriculture, mining, and media to woo investors with the promise of high returns.
Among the suspects, the 52 who allegedly organised and led the pyramid scheme have been handed to prosecutors, according to Meishan police.
The suspects managed to swindle 220,000 investors from across the Chinese mainland as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan, under the guise of being national platforms and part of the sharing economy.
The police said that the investors from Southeast Asian countries were also involved.