China: 800 held in banking crackdown
BEIJING — More than 800 people have been arrested in a crackdown on unlicensed banking operations as Beijing tries to stem outflows of money from the country, the police ministry said Monday.
More than 380 underground banks that handled transactions totaling more than 900 billion yuan [about $130 billion] were broken up in the crackdown that started last year, according to the ministry.
Communist leaders allow unlicensed financing activity to support entrepreneurs but try to stop activity they say threatens the state-run banking system, supports crime or helps people violate foreign exchange controls or other regulations.
Companies and small investors began shifting billions of dollars a month out of China in late 2015, prompted by expectations the currency would decline in value. Beijing responded by stepping up scrutiny of outbound investment and banning some activities by individual investors.
The police ministry statement Sunday gave no details of what those arrested were accused of doing.