Caixin
Nov 10, 2016 05:59 PM
FINANCE

22 Ezubo Employees Indicted for Illegal Border Crossing

(Beijing) — Twenty-two employees of Ezubo, a shuttered peer-to-peer lending platform, have been indicted in connection with an illegal international-border crossing from Yunnan province into Myanmar.

According to a statement Thursday by prosecutors in Puer, a city in Yunnan, 16 suspects were indicted on suspicion of illegally crossing a border, five for making arrangements for the others to stow away, and another for secretly conveying people outside the country.

Prosecutors were unavailable for comment, and it was unclear how the accused employees attempted to cross the border or whether they were in custody.

The statement does not say what positions the suspects held at Ezubo or when their trial will take place at the local municipal intermediate court.

Ezubo was a leading P2P service until it was shut down by police in multiple Chinese jurisdictions in December. An investigation found that from its launch in July 2014 until the end of 2015, Ezubao had swindled about 900,000 investors across the country out of more than 50 billion yuan ($7.4 billion) through a Ponzi scheme that promised high yields on their investments.

The latest result of the probe reveals that Ezubo also has operations in Myanmar.

In August, 11 suspects, including Ding Ning, chairman of Yucheng International Holdings Group Ltd., Ezubo's parent company, and Zhang Min, Ezubo's president, were accused of financial fraud, while 15 others were accused of illegally raising public funds.

A statement released at that time by the Supreme People's Court said that Ding was suspected of possessing guns and attempting to arrange for others to flee to Myanmar from Yunnan.

According to Wangdaizhijia, a research firm that tracks the online-lending industry, nearly 1,000 P2P platforms have been closed so far this year after failing to repay investors. In some cases, runaway managers absconded with the funds.

Contact reporter Dong Tongjian (tongjiandong@caixin.com); editor Ken Howe (kennethhowe@caixin.com)

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