12 Law-Enforcement Agents Reportedly Injured In Clash With Pyramid Schemers; Dozens Of People Reportedly Detained By Chinese Authorities

ponzinews1State-run media in China are reporting that 12 members of law enforcement were injured in a clash with pyramid schemers.

The Xinhua news agency says that a pyramid-inspired uprising began in China’s Anhui Province and that 34 members of the scheme were detained for assault and five were arrested.

From the news agency (italics added):

On Saturday, police in the provincial capital city of Hefei arrested five suspects, who led nearly 300 members of the pyramid selling group to attack the law enforcement officers. The officers were investigating the pyramid scheme at a local residential complex, according to the city’s public security department.

The pyramid scheme members blocked the gate of the complex and stopped residents from getting in or out.

The PP Blog cannot independently confirm the report.

See 2010 editorial cartoon from Chinese media and accompanying story on violence reportedly flowing from a pyramid scheme. (The cartoon is exceptionally memorable. As the PP Blog reported in July 2010 (italics added)):

A cartoon that accompanies the agency’s story on China’s pyramid plague depicts a man tugging mightily on a rope to help victims scale a cliff to flee from a pyramid schemer holding up a box of worthless products in a valley of pending misery below. A woman is assisting the man, pulling with all her might to help a victim escape the huckster. One woman is clinging to a fellow victim’s shirt as she, too, seeks to flee.

The cartoon depicts the valley pitchman standing in front of a blackboard. One man enthralled by the pitchman’s virtuoso performance is holding a wad of cash and reaching toward both the pitchman and the sky. Meanwhile, a woman who may be a doubter appears to be trying to keep her purse secure as she processes information and strains to get a closer look at details. In the deep background of the cartoon, one of the pitchfest attendees is shown with a dumbfounded look on his face — as though he is trying to process too much information from conflicting images in the incongruous scene.

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10 Responses to “12 Law-Enforcement Agents Reportedly Injured In Clash With Pyramid Schemers; Dozens Of People Reportedly Detained By Chinese Authorities”

  1. http://shanghaiist.com/attachments/shang_shanghaiist/pyramid-scheme-model.jpg

    This model shows so clearly why sales models that depend on “downline” recruitment dont work – even with products. Market saturation happens much faster than recruited members are led to believe and this is its inherent failing as a business model.

    When this is accompanied by a non existent product, lies and “cult” or brainwashing type motivation to join and continue, the damage is that which we have seen so many times and this latest example in China is just one more in a long chain of disasters.

    To all HYIP defenders, of which there sadly remain many, it is time that you realise that these schemes are not harmless.

  2. Chinese term for pyramid scheme is???, or literally, pass-it-on selling, i.e. referral selling, and it’s illegal. Direct selling, or ?? is legal. Amway supposedly has a direct selling model in China as not to run afoul of MLM regulations there, and is registered with direct selling bureau of ministry of commerce.

    Chinese pyramid schemes are particular virulent, as people have LITERALLY climbed out windows to escape from the brainwashing camps where they’re locked in (literally) for indoctrination. This is a CNN report back in 2009


    And this is the best known website in China that’s anti-pyramid fraud


    They have multiple reports on this incident, including clip off CCTV, the official news channel, all in Chinese, of course.

  3. I was listening the to video. Apparently a woman’s MLM operation was raided a few days ago by the anti-pyramid squad and her material was confiscated for investigation. She kept coming back demanding the stuff, the cops told her they ain’t done with it. On the day of the incident, she came with a crowd and surrounded the police outpost (which is bottom of an apartment complex) and a physical altercation occurred. Camera footage showed a woman grabbed a policeman’s shirt right in the chest. Then there’s a couple fast cuts and showing a crowd outside, with some random voiceover (can’t tell if it’s live recording) about “police beating up people”. Things started to be thrown, and really gotten into a mess. They even showed a woman who knocked over a police a started kicking. The “riot” lasted over 2 hours, and was only broken when 100+ members of “special squad” showed up in anti-riot gear and started picking out the leaders and detaining them as well as announcement over loudspeakers to disperse. There was interview of eyewitnesses who stated that the police was beaten up by the mob.

    NOTE: The anti-pyramid squad is apparently not cops, though they are often accompanied by cops, and they have the authority to evict tenants and “seal off” a crime scene, such as finding MLM material in the unit.


  4. Thanks for the summary, K. Chang.


  5. The Chinese news report says there are TWO incidents, while the English version only said something about one attack. Here’s a full version.

    Note, I’m going to use “pyramid selling” instead of “MLM” or such terms.



    (JungAn online May 6) On May 4, in Hefei City New Lakeside Village, law enforcement officers in process inventory-ing and evicting pyramid-selling agents in the area, was attacked dozens of suspected pyramid-selling members, and 12 law enforcement officers were injured. Police later mobilized reinforcements that rushed to the scene to stabilize the situation. Later Same Day, 34 suspects that cuased trouble and obstruction of official business, was taken into custody by the Public Security Bureau of Hefei Pack River Branch in accordance with the law.

    At 9:00 on the May 4th, Hefei City, New Lakeside anti-pyramid-selling enforcement officers, with help from the New Lakeside LinBin Court management personnel, is searching for suspected pyramid-selling residents in the building. During the inspection, the suspects refused to cooperate with the law enforcement officers, and shoved and beat the officers and management personnel. During the incident, suspects summoned more accomplices to arrived, block the area, and obstruct the officers from doing their duty.

    Hefei City Public Security Bureau Pao River Branch station, upon notification, rushed reinforcements to the scene. During the subsequent action multiple suspected pyramid-selling agents obstructed police enforcement. During the confusion, several suspects attacked both the police and the anti-pyramid-selling personnel with bricks, resulting in 12 injuries. Police was to able arrest five of the perpetrators.

    Same day around 4PM, the suspected pyramid-selling people summon nearly 300 people to the PaoBin Court Apt., blocking the main community gate, hindering community residents going in and out. Hefei police rapidly mobilized more reinforcements that rushed to the scene, and after controlling the scene, removed over 30 perpetrators and suspected pyramid-selling accomplices.

    Public Security Bureau quickly set up a task force to review suspects suspected to cause trouble and violence and obstruction of official business. The same evening, 34 suspects were formally arrested and charged in accordance with the law and mandated to criminal detention.

    At present, the case is under further investigation pending.

    Police warn marketing agents, pyramid-selling is expressly prohibited violations of state laws and regulations, and the police will continue to work with relevant departments to maintain a high pressure situation to crack down, investigate and punish pyramid-selling. (Reporter Huang Nana)

  6. Thank you very much for the translation, K. Chang. The photo that went along with the story also is compelling.


  7. Forgot to link the video… here it is:


    (it’s in Chinese, duh)

    According to this it stemmed from a raid back on May 2nd. Apparently the apartment has a strict anti-pyramid selling rule: if you’re caught with pyramid-selling literature, you’ll be evicted. 3 of the 12 officers injured was “somewhat serious”.

  8. Ah, here’s another item for you:

    http://news.gd.sina.com.cn/news/20120711/1325860.html (use Google Translate)

    Here’s the summary version… This guy (colleged student) was tricked into going to a meeting about a job, that turned out to be pyramid selling. When he demanded to leave, he was shoved back into the room and beaten. He pulled out a “spring-blade” and started to wave it around, and managed to get out the door, but was tackled by one guy outside (unarmed). During the struggle the student stabbed the other guy in the chest, and ran off, kicked open a balcony door (through glass), destroyed the safety net, and managed to climb down from the balcony by following a pipe to the ground.

    The guy he stabbed died.

    The stabber turned himself in, along with the murder weapon, a month later.

    The court pronounced him guilty of serious battery, but not murder, as it was self-defense, but using excessive force. And told him to pay the victim’s family 84000 RMB, but NO JAIL TIME. Controversial, heck. :)

  9. Oh, and here’s the photo of the stabber, after court gave him no jailtime: