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By Teng Jing Xuan / Dec 06, 2018 12:27 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese police say they have busted a massive medical-treatment fraud syndicate that allegedly cheated wealthy victims out of a total of 1 billion yuan ($145 million) through an elaborate scheme to convince them they were at high risk of developing cancer.

Authorities in Zhejiang province were tipped off earlier this year when a woman told them she had lost over 6 million yuan after staff at a beauty salon offered her a free trip abroad, where she was given a fake medical exam and told she had a high chance of developing cancer unless she paid for pricey “cancer-prevention” drugs. Police didn’t reveal where the woman had traveled, though other victims were taken to the U.S and Thailand, among other countries.

Police said Thursday that they later discovered that the people who defrauded the Zhejiang woman had been involved in over 2,000 similar cases targeting “high-income big spenders” at beauty salons. A total of 132 suspects have been arrested and over 3,000 boxes of fake drugs seized.

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