In Dongguan searching for a job, he got recruited by a gang and lost his older cousin

Each year the kids come, looking for jobs somewhere in the PRD, usually ending up working in a factory in Dongguan. 16-year-old Jiangxi native Xu Shibin was not that lucky; instead of a proper job he got his arm broken, for effect, and then shipped by his new criminal gang of employers to Shenzhen’s Yantian district where he was made to serve as part of a ‘car crash gang’ (撞车党), setting themselves to get hit by a car (from another car, or sometimes a bike) and then demanding compensation. The fraud continues until the car falls apart or ends up in such rough shape that victims are no longer fooled by the ruse (or the cops get them).

Xu was eventually able to escape the gang, but the whereabouts of his cousin, 18-year-old Xu Laifu, who came to Dongguan with him, remain unknown. Police in Dongguan’s Zhongtang town are now investigating the case.

According to Xu, he and his cousin arrived at Dongguan’s Zhongtang at around 3pm on March 24 to look for work, and were soon approached by a man in black at his fifties who said he could introduce them to a job that paid 10,000 RMB/day.

Not exactly veterans of the job market, the Xus followed the man into a minivan.

The next day they were separated, and the younger Xu taken to Shenzhen, to a rented apartment in Yantian, where two unidentified men gave him some drugged coffee and then asked if wanted to join their car crash gang. When Xu declined, the two men broke his left arm with an iron rod.

The next evening, Xu was dropped off on the side of the road somewhere nearby and told to play along as the gang worked its fraud. He waited until the two men were each distracted on a phone call and then slipped away. After running hundreds of meters down the road with his broken arm, Xu got lucky when a taxi driver stopped and offered to take him to the bus station.

Xu managed to get home to Jiangxi for treatment, and returned to Zhongtang a week later with his relatives in tow, trying to find his elder cousin. They returned to the rented apartment where Xu had his arm broken and, finding that there were people inside, immediately called the police.

Except, without any evidence to charge them with, police set the men free.

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