Money Laundering Cases in Jinhua
Zhou, a 50-year-old foreign trader of car accessories, met an American purchasing agent for car accessories—named James, he claimed—in August 2018. James asked Mr. Zhou to help him by using his own account to collect the money from James’s suppliers in China, and he promised to give Mr. Zhou 5% of every transaction.
More than 10 women have recently been deceived in a similar manner by their foreign boyfriends. One of them was Ms. Fen, a 50-year-old victim. In November 2018, she fell in love with a foreigner named Edmond on WeChat. Edmonds said he would mail his retirement documents and all his belongings to her. At this time, a person who claimed to be a staff member of a Hong Kong express company asked Ms. Fen to pay 90,000 RMB for an inspection certificate on WeChat or he would not release the express. After transferring 20,000 RMB to him, Ms. Fen felt suspicious, so she called the police.
When reviewing the case materials of the first instance, the prosecutor had some doubts: First, what is the relationship between Zhou and James? There is no contract as a guarantee, so it is almost impossible for James to defend his rights if Zhou embezzles the money. Second, Zhou had dozens of bank cards for collecting money, far exceeding the normal quantity of bank cards. Zhou did not stop even after the bank told him that the money in the account was fraudulent. On July 17, Zhou received legal sanctions for concealing fraudulent money.
Prosecutors said that criminals in fraud cases often conceal their identity and find other people to help collect and launder the money. In this case, Mr. Zhou pretended to be ignorant after learning that he was laundering money for criminals, but eventually was sanctioned nonetheless. (By Zhang Liming, translated by Wei Han, edited by Kendra Fiddler)