More than 20 people may receive prison sentences for staging a demonstration in Beijing to protest their losses related to a massive case of alleged lending fraud, when a peer-to-peer (P2P) platform shut down.
The company, Yindou Net Peer to Peer, is claimed to have links to the Chinese Communist regime.
On July 18, during China’s recent P2P crash, Yindou went bankrupt, and its CEO fled the country. The company then announced that none of its 4.4 billion yuan (about $600 million) in debt would be repaid. Many of its estimated 20,000 investors lost their life savings.
Victims who spoke via phone to The Epoch Times on condition of anonymity said that some people had even applied for bank loans to invest in Yindou, since the state-linked lending company offered higher interest rates for its clients. Meanwhile, its state background boosted customer confidence in its long-term prospects.
Protests against Yindou broke out in Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou, and other cities, but were quickly suppressed by local public security forces.
On Oct 17, hundreds of victims gathered in Beijing to stage larger protests in hopes of attracting the attention and sympathy of the central authorities. Instead, 50 them were arrested, including 25 who are still in detention.
“Some victims of other P2P platforms were arrested, but were released after being detained for several days,” a victim surnamed Li told The Epoch Times. “The police are very scared of us speaking the truth.”
Li believes a reason why police and local governments blocked their protests is that Yindou is actually run by high-ranking Chinese Communist Party officials. Li said that the fraud involved state-run companies and the prestigious Tsinghua University.
The victims said they had acquired internal memos from police that they had ample evidence for the Yindou fraud case. The police had records of more than 8,000 Yindou victims, and held detailed files on 5,874 victims, including names, dates of birth, family members, home addresses, and workplaces.
According to Li, police are trying to determine key individuals and leaders of the protests.
“The government spends billions on maintaining stability, which is not to solve issues but to suppress the people,” Li said. He says the fraud victims have evidence that much of the stolen money found its way into the pockets of Huaxin and its branches, which are Yindou’s biggest shareholders.
Yindou was founded in September 2013 by Beijing Orient Financial Information Service Company. Huaxin controls 70 percent of the equity, with the rest held by Wang Pengcheng, Yindou’s CEO. Victims say that the 38-year-old Wang is merely a puppet of the police, and that the actual stakeholder of Yindou is Li Yonggang. Li is, in turn, an intermediary for the family of Li Peng, China’s former premier, P2P victims told The Epoch Times.
The chairman of Huaxin is Liu Zhiyuan, Li Peng’s son-in-law. Liu is the husband of Li Xiaolin, nicknamed “First Sister of Energy Sector,” who has monopolized the industry for 20 years.
Huaxin has a background in the Chinese military and supplies telecommunication systems to the Chinese regime’s People’s Liberation Army.
Victims say their friends are being abused while in custody. All were forced to sign statements promising that they won’t engage in further protests or agitate for debt collection. They had their DNA sampled and are only given stale bread for meals. Their families have to pay exorbitant prices for them to receive blankets.
Undeterred, the victims say they will continue to fight for their case.
“We’re definitely not going to give up protesting,” Li said. “We won’t let the wicked succeed, so we will protest until the end.”