Five detained by police in Tianjin pyramid-scheme death

Five who are suspected of luring a university graduate into a pyramid scheme scam and restraining him, which possibly caused his death, have been detained by police in Tianjin.

Li Wenxing

Five suspects who lured a university graduate into a pyramid scheme scam and restrained him, which possibly led to his death, have been detained by police in Tianjin's Jinghai District, Tianjin-based enorth.com.cn reported Sunday.

One of the suspects, surnamed Jiang, is thought to be an organizer of the pyramid scheme, while the other four, Chen, Zhang, Zhai and Hu, are accused of restraining others illegally.

According to Jinghai police, Chen, a member of the pyramid scheme gang "Die Bei Lei" (Butterfly Bud), posted a fake recruitment ad on recruiting website zhipin.com under the name of Beijing-headquartered software company CSII. After the victim Li Wenxing applied for the job, Chen asked him to go to Jinghai and reported it to Zhang, who later reported it to his superior Hu.

Hu then sent Jiang to pick Li up and take him to a dorm of the gang which was located in a suburban village. Li was later transferred to another two dorms before he was found drowned in a pond.

The police probe showed that Li had already paid for membership and acted under his own free will.

Officers said they are conducting further investigation into Li's case.

Li, a graduate of Northeastern University, was found dead in a pond on July 14 in Tianjin’s Jinghai District, a place noted for rampant fake recruiters. Beijing News earlier reported that Li's schoolmates said he mentioned his departure to Tianjin for a job offer but treated them very indifferently afterwards. He contacted them to borrow money several times as well as his family.

However, on July 8 night, he made a call to his mother and told her to never give money to whoever might call requesting it.

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