Second-hand car trading fraudsters nailed

At least 136 people around the country fell victim to the fraudsters based in suburban Shanghai and lost about 1 million yuan, police said.
Ti Gong

The suspects were nailed in a parking lot in Songjiang District on March 22.

Eighteen suspects have been detained for allegedly defrauding second-hand car buyers about 1 million yuan (US$160,000), Shanghai police said on Wednesday.

The gang allegedly signed tricky contracts with the buyers, took deposit money and didn’t deliver the cars to them in the end.

Since November last years, at least 136 people around the country fell victim to the fraudsters based in suburban Songjiang District and lost about 1 million yuan, police said.

Investigation started in March when the district police received several reports complaining about similar tricks in second-hand car trading.

By advertising online, the gang invited the potential buyers to check out what they claimed to be second-hand cars which were parked in several parking lots in the district.

In fact, most of the cars presented to the buyers were rented by the gang and others either were mortgaged or belonged to the suspects themselves, police said.

The suspects then signed purchase contracts with the buyers which marked the cars as mortgaged, and charged deposit.

Police said most victims said they didn’t notice this detail in the contracts.

On the excuse that the cars were mortgaged and thus not able to be sold, the gang didn’t deliver the cars to the buyers and in many cases didn’t return the deposit, police said.

The suspect were netted in a parking lost on Huancheng Road on March 22 with 20 cars, two POS machines and over 80,000 yuan of cash seized from them, according to the police.

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