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Chinese protesters demanding bank deposits in scuffles with security

Footage shared by Chinese protesters on social media shows Chinese protesters demanding bank deposits withdrawal in violent scuffles with security in central China’s Zhengzhou, capital city of Henan Province, China, on July 10, in a rare public demonstration in the tightly-controlled country.

Demonstrators held banners during the protest over the freezing of deposits by rural-based banks, outside a People’s Bank of China building in Zhengzhou on Sunday.

Hit hard by the country’s economic slowdown, four banks in Henan province have since mid-April frozen all cash withdrawals , leaving thousands of small savers without funds and sparking sporadic demonstrations.

Sunday saw some of the largest protests yet, with several hundred people rallying in front of a branch of the People’s Bank of China in the Henan capital Zhengzhou.

Some demonstrators accuse officials of colluding with local banks to suppress protests, with authorities last month accused of exploiting the COVID-19 health pass to quell new protests, turning protesters passes red to effectively bar them from public spaces.

China’s police say they have arrested some suspects and frozen funds in connection with the disappearance of deposits from a number of banks in the country’s central Henan province, according to an official notice posted late on Sunday.

Henan police said the suspects were able to effectively control a number of the province’s banks via a group company, according to the notice posted on an official WeChat account.

The criminal cohort used third party financial product platforms and a firm they set up themselves to gather deposits and sell other financial products. They then made fictitious loans as a way to illegally transfer the funds, the notice said.

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