Economic review

Beijing busts 10 underground banks involving $23 bln

2014-11-14 16:06:39 (Beijing Time)         Ecns.cn

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Money and bank cards Beijing police have seized during the crackdown. (Photo: the Beijing Time)

(ECNS) – Beijing police have cracked down on about 10 illegal private banks involving over 140 billion yuan ($22.82 billion), the Beijing Times reports.

On September 18, over 400 police officers seized 59 suspects, detained about 800 bank cards and cyber banking digital certificates, and suspended 264 bank accounts.

The crackdown has run since February, when the police uncovered clues that a man surnamed Yao had transferred over $5 million to foreign countries in less than two years. Beijing police later found the illegal private banks in Chaoyang, Dongcheng and Xicheng districts.

The crackdown also involved the city's first illegal deal in foreign currency involving an offshore account.

A suspect surnamed Yin confessed to profiting from deals made in foreign currency via an offshore account at a domestic bank.

Someone in charge of the investigation said the illegal private banks traded foreign currency, transferred funds to overseas countries or regions, and helped launder money, threatening China's economic and financial security.

"They also encouraged crimes such as smuggling and misappropriation of state assets," the director added.