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Chinese police detain suspect after rumour sparks rural bank run

Published on Mar 27, 2014 11:52 AM
People rushing to withdraw money from a branch of Jiangsu Sheyang Rural Commercial Bank, in Yancheng, Jiangsu province, on March 25, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Police in the rural Chinese city of Yancheng have detained a person suspected of spreading rumours that sparked a three-day bank run, security officials said on the city police force's official microblog on Thursday.

Government, bank officials and residents all referred to a rumour that a local bank branch had turned down a client's request to withdraw 200,000 yuan (S$40,770), which sparked the speculation the bank was insolvent. This prompted a rush among depositors to withdraw cash.

"After a police investigation, a person surnamed Cai who spread the rumours has been tracked down, and during the night on March 26 was detained by authorities. The police are now investigating the matter further," Yancheng police said in a statement posted on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Though the bank incident is isolated and is not expected to impact the economy, authorities have been trying to crack down on the spreading of rumours, which are seen as a potential threat to the stability obsessed leadership under President Xi Jinping.

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