16 arrested for organizing pyramid sales in 'fire therapy' probe

They include Shu Yuhui, 51, the actual controller of Quanjian Nature Medicine Technology Development.

Shu Yuhui, the actual controller of Quanjian Nature Medicine Technology Development.

Sixteen suspects of a Tianjin-based health product giant were arrested for organizing pyramid sales, with their arrests approved by the Wuqing District People's Procuratorate in Tianjin on Sunday.

They include Shu Yuhui, 51, the actual controller of Quanjian Nature Medicine Technology Development, according to the procuratorate.

An investigation team was established late last month after Quanjian came under fire for being accused of making misleading claims about "fire therapy" and its traditional medicines, and was also blamed for delaying the treatment of a cancer-stricken girl, who died in 2015, according to the WeChat account Ding Xiang Doctor.

During "fire therapy," alcohol soaked towels are ignited on a patient's body.

Market watchdogs in China are closing "fire therapy" venues over fire safety hazards, and are conducting a specific three-month campaign against "irregularities" in the health product market following the incident.

Tianjin-based Quanjian was founded in 2014, with registered capital of 400.8 million yuan (US$59.29 million).

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