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Number may be up for 'lottery fraudsters'

[ 2010-03-09 12:58]     字号 [] [] []  
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Police are investigating a gang of 11 alleged scammers who they believe sold "must win" lottery numbers to victims for more than 2.9 million yuan, according to Beijing Morning Post.

Allegedly led by a 35-year-old man from Hunan province, surnamed Yi, the gang registered two companies in Beijing in 2008 and started advertising that they had access to "must win" lottery numbers thanks to an "expert squad" that worked in the welfare lottery center, said investigators.

People wanting a short-cut to wealth allegedly forked over 6,000 yuan each in "information fees", getting in return numbers that were produced using computer software that cost the gang just 90 yuan.

The numbers never came up.

Li Qiang (not his real name), a man in his 30s, said he was among those who lost money. Li signed a contract with the company and handed over 6,000 yuan. Under the deal, the company was entitled to a 20 percent slice of any winnings. The contract also said Li could have all of his money back if his ticket was not a winner.

But he said that after losing for the first time, the company did not return his 6,000 yuan. Instead, he says, it persuaded him to sink even more money into lottery bets.

In total, Li says he lost 30,000 yuan that he was supposed to spend on his wedding and an additional 20,000 yuan he borrowed from friends.

The procuratorate in Shijingshan district is investigating the allegations. According to the procurator, surnamed Zhao, about 100 people lost money during a one-year period.

According to the procurator, Yi, the alleged mastermind behind the operation, did not fare any better than his victims. Zhao said investigators found Yi's bank account was empty, with all of his money lost to gambling.


1. How many scammers are police investigating?

2. How much was the information fee?

3. How many people lose money?


1. 11.

2. 6,000 yuan.

3. about 100.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Number may be up for 'lottery fraudsters'

About the broadcaster:

Number may be up for 'lottery fraudsters'

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.