China police detain 6 for theft that pushed liquor firm into red

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Police in China have detained six people in connection with a theft of some 100 million yuan (S$21 million) from a bank account of drinks firm Jiugui Liquor Co Ltd that helped push the company into a loss for 2013.

The official Xinhua news agency said the six had been detained in various areas of central and eastern China, citing a police chief in the company's home base of Hunan province. The report did not give further details.

Jiugui Liquor, one of China's top producers of the fiery, grain-based baijiu alcoholic drink that is a staple of celebratory gatherings, said earlier this week that the money had been withdrawn over a period of three days from one of its accounts at the Agricultural Bank of China.

The impact would help push the company to a net loss for 2013, it added.

China's baijiu makers have struggled of late with falling demand as the Chinese government's anti-corruption and austerity drive has led to officials being told to cut back on banquets and celebrations.

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