Hundreds of clients who lost money with the peer-to-peer (P2P) investing platform Ezubo (e租寶) were taken away by police when they tried to petition for the help of authorities in Beijing, Apple Daily reported Monday.
Ezubo was shut down last month for alleged illegal fundraising, in which nearly a million investors lost their money.
The P2P platform had promised up to 14 percent return on investments.
Transactions reached more than 72 billion yuan (US$11 billion) within a year.
Ezubo attracted more than 900,000 investors.
On Dec. 8, the offices of Anhui Yucheng Group, which operated the Ezubo platform, were sealed by police on suspicion of illegal fundraising.
The company’s chairman, Ding Ning, was arrested, and investors lost all their capital.
Investors planned to assemble 100,000 petitioners to appeal for help in Beijing on Sunday, which aroused the attention of the authorities.
More than 100 police vehicles were deployed near the offices of the Commission for Discipline Inspection and the State Bureau for Letters and Calls, and officers stopped people at the exits of subways in the area for questioning.
About 20,000 petitioners reportedly arrived in Beijing. Police took many away forcefully, the report said.
Several online groups concerned about human rights were closely monitored by the authorities.
Some of those who published information on the internet about the Ezubo petition were interviewed and intimidated.
A large-scale petition is hard to achieve given the authorities high state of readiness, one petitioner said, but that can’t stop petitioners from coming to Beijing for help.
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