Chinese military and police officials have arrested two people accused of posing as senior military officers in an attempt to extort money from members of the public. The pair is accused of trying to con millions of US dollars out of members of the public by offering to sell them senior military ranks.
The arrests, made in Beijing, are the latest in a recent crackdown targeted at impostors masquerading as members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
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 deposited 15 million yuan (US$2.3 million) into a special fund called “Royal Soldier”, China Central Television (CCTV) 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 is not known whether they had succeeded in extorting 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 in July, 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 have been seized during this period.
According to a previous CCTV report, the authorities raided eight facilities making or selling counterfeit army uniforms.
The counterfeit items are often bought by people trying to swindle members of the public into donating money into a special fund under the belief it would benefit members of the PLA.