The Nanfang / Blog

China, land of the fake… policeman?

Posted: 09/13/2013 11:00 am

China is a country known for its fake designer products, but what about fake police? Apparently the the answer to that question is also yes: China has officially been able to counterfeit law enforcement.

A man dressed as a policeman, complete with a real pistol, was arrested on August 22 in Shenzhen’s Longhua New Area at a family home after his planned robbery heist went wrong, according to a report out yesterday by Shenzhen Daily (via the Daily Sunshine).

The fake policeman, identified only as Zhang, visited the home of a husband and wife on the pretext of investigating illegal pyramid schemes, and claimed to be from a department in Hubei Province.

At the time only the wife, who remains unidentified, was at home — though she soon called her husband in secret after becoming suspicious of Zhang.

Returning home immediately, the husband told Zhang that he wanted local police officers to be present during any questioning, at which point Zhang became nervous and attacked the couple.

A nearby officer rushed to the scene after hearing calls for help from the wife and seeing that she was covered in blood. Meanwhile, the husband continued battling Zhang inside the home.

Officer Zou Yongsheng said afterwards (according to a translation by the Daily): “I went up the stairs with my gun. When I ran to the third floor, I heard someone moving quietly above me, so I jumped to the upper landing.

“Zhang saw me and started running upstairs. After running for two floors, I caught him. Later, we found that he had dropped the pistol on the fourth floor.”

Zhang confessed later that he was using the outfit and pistol to rob people, though it is unclear if he had robbed anyone previous to this incident. It is not uncommon in China to see civilians sometimes dressed as police officers, and foreigners can easily mistake them for genuine policemen.

The Daily also added: “He said he bought the pistol because he wanted to take revenge on his wife after she had an affair. Zhang said he later bought the uniform because he didn’t want to be bullied by others.”

Following the incident, local residents are being advised to always ask to see ID from police officers before allowing them into their homes. That goes for expats living in Shenzhen, too.

In related “fake” news of an equally controversial nature, The Nanfang reported yesterday that an expat bar in Shenzhen has come under fire for “fake” terrorists in a fancy-dress party to mark the anniversary of 9/11.

Photo credit: Shenzhen Daily


“Underwear Man” in Shenzhen famous for chasing a thief in his briefs

Posted: 03/14/2013 7:00 am

A shopkeeper in Shenzhen’s Longgang District has earned the title of Underwear Man after running down the street in his underwear to catch a thief who had entered his shop on March 9, Zhejiang Satellite Television reports. Media headlines say he ran 1,000 metres to catch the crook.

Mr. Fan telling media of his heroism

Shortly after 7 a.m., an thief entered Mr. Fan’s shop to steal some cash and a mobile phone. Mr. Fan was sleeping upstairs but he heard somebody enter and he ran out to catch him. CCTV footage shows the subsequent chase.

Mr. Fan ended up catching the petty criminal. You can watch the chase in all its glory below.


Guangdong man, who has been terrorizing Chinese nationals in Venezuela, is captured

Posted: 02/16/2013 10:46 am

The reign of terror brought upon Chinese nationals in Venezuela may soon be over.

A Guangdong man, who is thought to be the king in a major crime ring operating in the South American country, has arrived back in his home province after being captured, deported and sent back to China in cuffs.

Xi Mouwei, 26, is suspected of heading a 10-strong criminal gang using kidnappings, robberies and extortion to terrorize Chinese expats, often demanding $100,000 in ransoms.

According to the BBC:

He is reported to have gone to Venezuela at the age of 16 and turned to crime when his business struggled.

It’s believed the gang had been active for about a year.

With the help of the Venezuelan authorities, Xi was snared earlier this month and eventually brought back to join two other alleged accomplices arrested in the province.

A special nine-member task force was sent to Venezuela to investigate crimes being committed after the Chinese embassy contacted Beijing about “dozens of cases” involving their citizens.

The Washington Post adds:

China is keen to be seen as being capable of protecting its citizens abroad and punishing those who commit violent crimes overseas.

Guangdong police are leading further investigations into this case.

Picture: Keith Allison/Flickr


Mutilated body found, rape suspected

Posted: 07/12/2012 1:00 pm

A body thought to be of a 37-year-old woman who was three months pregnant, Zhang Shaogai, was found one week after she was reported missing. An autopsy showed that she may have been raped. Zhang’s body was found on July 7th in a bush near the reservoir which she would walk past on her way home every day in Shenzhen’s Longgang District, local media reported.

Zhang’s husband and colleagues recognized her from the keys and slippers beside the body. According to Zhang’s younger brother, who was part of the search party, his sister’s head was covered with a red plastic bag, while her pants had been dragged down beneath her knees. However, the police said as the body was badly mutilated, test results are yet to confirm whether it was Zhang’s body and whether she had been raped.

Zhang worked as an inspector with a toy factory in Henggang’s Xikeng in the subdistrict, while her husband, Liu, is a security guard at an electronics factory in a nearby neighborhood. They live in Liu’s staff dormitory with two kids. Zhang was three months pregnant with her third child before she died.

As reported by Shenzhen Evening News, Zhang usually rode a bike home but recently, had been walking home. She disappeared June 30th, the third night she embarked on the 20-minute walk. According to Liu, her husband, Zhang’s cell phone was taken when the body was found. He suspected that the motive was robbery.

Longgang Police are investigating the case.

Zhang’s elder sister devastated after seeing the body.

Two Nigerians accused of stealing RMB11k from Foshan taxi drivers

Posted: 06/22/2012 2:43 pm

African expats – and Nigerians in particular – seem to be dominating PRD news this week.  Only days after Nigerians staged a large scale protest against Chinese police in Guangzhou and called for a Nigerian consulate in the city, two Nigerians have been arrested for robbery in Foshan.

Sina is reporting there were six robberies last week targeting taxi drivers in Foshan’s Nanhai District, all of which were alleged to have been committed by Nigerian expatriates. The robberies totaled RMB11,000 in value, according to the Guangzhou Daily.  So far one of the suspects, a 33-year old Nigerian man, has been arrested.

It’s believed the spree of robberies began on June 12.  In the early morning that day, a taxi driver, Ah Long, drove two African passengers to Guangfo Trade Mart. After they arrived at the destination, the two passengers asked Ah Long to help them open the trunk to retrieve their luggage. When he did so, one passenger grabbed him by the neck while the other threatened him with a knife, ordering Ah Long to turn over his belongings.  They are alleged to have taken RMB4,020 worth of property from Ah Long before fleeing.

Just one week later, local police received reports of several robberies from taxi drivers who described a similar scene, with losses adding up to RMB11,000 in total.

According to captured surveillance video, the police identified the suspects as two tall black men who spoke fluent Mandarin, probably between the ages of 25 and 30.  They tended to act late at night, often getting taxis from around Huangqi Road and alighting near Dali Lingnan crossroad.

Police finally had a breakthrough on June 18, when a taxi carrying two black passengers caught the attention of policemen who were staking out the targeted area.  After following the taxi all the way to its destination, the police spotted one passenger getting out of the car and looking around.  The police the swarmed and took the man down, seizing a sizable blade the man was carrying. Unfortunately for police, the other man was able to run away.

The man who was caught, Onwuatu, was identified as one of the two suspects by Ah Long.  Police are still looking for the second suspect.


Shenzhen woman robbed at ATM, ignored by onlookers

Posted: 05/9/2012 2:55 pm

A woman has been robbed at an ATM machine in Shenzhen while an estimated 20 people passively looked on. The woman, identified as Miss Liu, was approached from behind by men who forcibly removed 20,000 RMB from her bank card which was in the machine, according to local television.

Liu claims to have cried for help but none of the 20 people around her intervened or called the police. She grappled with the assailants and claims that the security guard of the bank could not possibly have been unaware of what was happening, but he only appeared after the assailants had fled.

The security guard refused to comment, claiming that his employer would not allow him to talk to media. According to a member of staff at the bank, the security camera was faulty so they are unable to verify what happened.

Late last year, Shenzhen saw a series of ATM-related crimes. This security camera footage taken in the  city’s Buji Subdistrict, shows three criminals waiting behind a woman at an ATM. One would drop a 100 RMB note on the floor, explaining to the woman that it belonged to her, as she bent over to pick it up, an accomplice would approach from behind, switching the bank card and transferring all the funds into another account.

Police in Shantou recently seized more than 30,000 RMB and a large collection of bank cards, and arrested 6 suspects in connection with the ATM-related crimes. The investigation is ongoing.


Brazilian man beaten in Dongguan, passers-by watch

Posted: 05/7/2012 12:23 pm

A Brazilian man was beaten in Dongguan for trying to prevent a thief from stealing a woman’s handbag on May 5, according to South China Television.

A Dongguan resident identified as Miss Zhu was carrying her handbag as she crossed the road at 7:30 in the evening when an assailant approached her from behind and attempted to steal it. The Brazilian, identified as Mozen, put his umbrella between the man and the handbag to prevent the robbery, and he was quickly set upon by three men with sticks and belts.

Miss Zhu turned around and saw the foreigner being beaten and it was explained to her that Mozen had helped prevent her bag from being stolen. According to a passerby named Mr. Tang, 20 people watched the beating take place without intervening.

The men continued to beat Mozen until his head was bleeding severely and then fled. Miss Zhu and Mr Tang then approached Mozen, asking if they could help. Together they took him to hospital.

As well as the estimated 20 witnesses who failed to intervene, there were two zhianting, or public security stands, within 30 meters. The officers at the public security stand defended their non-intervention by explaining that preventing fights was not their role.

Chinese netizens have been quick to condemn the passersby for failing to intervene. One Sina Weibo user with the name of Ping Bei exclaimed, “these people are an embarrassment to China.” Another commenter by the name of Dream1Hunsha said, “I just hope China gets exterminated soon.”

Non-intervention has become a hot topic in China since October last year when 2 year-old Wang Yue was left for dead by passersby after being run over by two trucks. Tentative steps have been made to encourage Good Samaritans, such as when a Uruguayan woman was awarded 3000 yuan (US$476) for rescuing a drowning woman in Hangzhou.


Dongguan Internet addict jailed for desperate robbery, banned from Internet cafes

Posted: 02/15/2012 11:39 am

On February 13, writes Dongguan Daily, the city’s Second People’s Court sentenced a 17-year-old boy to 1.5 years in prison for his Internet addiction-fueled role in a robbery.

Late one night in September last year, out of money to stay at the wangba but sorely in need of another Internet fix, he and a friend went to a park and ambushed a man passing by on his electric bicycle, taking it with them along with 65 RMB of the man’s money.

As part of the sentence, the judge also ordered the boy to pay 1,000 RMB in compensation to the victim, and banned him from entering any wangba within the coming two years, the first ban of its kind to be handed down in the city.

The Dongguan Daily reports that two days prior to the robbery, the teen’s father came home one evening to find his son completely lost inside a game. The father smashed the computer monitor, prompting the boy to run out of the house. After two full days spent in a wangba, unreachable by his parents, the boy’s money was spent, leading to the robbery plan.

In related news, Yangcheng Evening News ran a story this week from China National Radio about Tonecan, Dongguan’s largest wangba chain which has gone from 60 Internet cafes in 2011 to now just three branches.

Three factors explain the sudden drop in business, says company chairman Huang Peihong: the numbers of migrant workers—its largest customer base—are dropping, smartphones have become the primary source of Internet access for a growing number of people, and optical fiber infrastructure projects have made home Internet connections more universal. As factories started closing down in 2011, workers moved away.


Bus passengers robbed upon arrival in Dongguan

Posted: 02/13/2012 7:47 am

Early on the morning of February 6, a long-distance bus carrying 53 passengers from Guangzhou to Dongguan arrived outside the Dongguan Bus Station. Seconds after passengers began exiting the bus, however, they were surrounded by about ten men. Seven passengers were then robbed of their bags and other personal belongings, and the men ran off.

It was about 3:30 a.m. when the robbery took place. The bus driver pulled over to let passengers off just outside the terminal. Three taxis and several motorcycles suddenly surrounded the bus. Ten men approached the 20-odd passengers who had already gotten off, grabbing what they could.

The bus driver, still helping other passengers retrieve their bags, heard screaming outside the bus and, realizing a robbery was in progress, called the police. Speaking to Yangcheng Evening News, the driver said the men were gone after no more than two minutes, too quickly for anyone to catch any license plate numbers. Of the seven passengers who ended up being robbed, two lost a cellphone and five lost their luggage.

Guangzhou No. 2 Bus Company, which owns the bus targeted in the robbery, has compensated the victims with payments ranging from 600-1000 RMB each, paying out a total of 5800 RMB.

Highway robbery still uncommon

According to the bus company, this was the first time such an incident had targeted one of their buses. A spokesperson for the company explained that the reason the bus didn’t drop passengers off inside the station was that it was an extra bus sent from Guangzhou Bus Station, which operates around the clock, meaning the bus arrived before Dongguan Bus Station had opened for service.

The bus company added that it will contact Dongguan Bus Station staff ahead of further after-hours buses to ensure that precautions are taken to prevent this from happening again.

Police say they are still investigating.

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