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'Fake general and colonel' arrested as Chinese authorities target scammers posing as members of army

'Fake general and colonel' arrested as Chinese authorities target scammers posing as members of army
Paramilitary policemen march outside the Great Hall of the People after the ceremony marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the China's People's Liberation Army in Beijing. Reuters file photo

'Fake general and colonel' arrested as Chinese authorities target scammers posing as members of army

Pair accused of trying to con millions of US dollars out of members of the public by offering to sell them senior military ranks

HONG KONG — China's army and police have arrested two people accused of pretending to be senior officers to extort money from members of the public, state media reported.

The arrests in Beijing were the latest in a crackdown since July on impostors masquerading as members of the People's Liberation Army.

A man, who posed as a general, and a woman, who pretended to be a senior colonel, had claimed that they could make a person a colonel as long as they donated 15 million yuan (S$3.09 million) to a special fund called "Royal Soldier", China Central Television reported last week.

The man, using a pseudonym and claiming to be the fund's secretary general, was reported to have confessed that the pair had started the scam at the start of last year.

It was not known whether they had succeeded in getting any money this way.

Authorities also found more than 10 boxes of counterfeit uniforms and regalia at their home, the report said.

More than 270 people have been detained in similar cases since the launch of the crackdown, spearheaded by a special task force set up by the PLA and the Ministry of Public Security.

More than 15,000 fake uniforms and other items emblazoned with the PLA's logo were seized during this period.

CCTV said criminals were continuing to manufacture and sell fake army gear and posing as officers despite repeated crackdowns.

According to a previous CCTV report, the authorities raided eight places making or selling counterfeit army uniforms.

Those items were often bought by people who were trying to trick members of the public into donating money in the belief it would benefit members of the PLA. SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST