Chinese protesters demanding bank deposits noisy with security officers According to Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Chinese national flag is reflected on an advertisement by a commercial bank bearing the Chinese Yuan signboard at a branch of the commercial bank in a business district in Beijing, China, today January 21, 2016. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon

BEIJING (Reuters) – Some protesters in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou over the freezing of the deposits of some rural banks said they were injured on Sunday when security officers weighed in. disperse.

Banks froze millions of dollars worth of deposits in April, telling customers they were upgrading their internal systems. The banks have not made any announcements on the matter since then, depositors said.

None of the banks responded to emails and phone calls seeking comment. Chinese media have reported that the frozen deposits could be worth up to $1.5 billion, and authorities are investigating three banks.

About 1,000 people gathered outside the Zhengzhou branch of China’s central bank on Sunday to demand action.

Videos and photos on social media showed depositors waving banners and hurling plastic bottles at approaching security officers, who then roughly pulled some of the protesters away.

One protester, surnamed Zhang, 40, told Reuters: “I feel so heartbroken and can’t even explain it to you.”

Zhang said he had hoped to get back about 170,000 yuan ($25,000) deposited in one of the banks, Huanghuai Community Bank (Zhecheng Huanghuai).

Zhang said he suffered injuries to his foot and thumb, and was taken away by four unidentified security personnel around midday. Security personnel outnumbered the protesters by about three to one, he said.

“They didn’t say they would beat us up if we didn’t leave. They just said we broke the law by complaining. That’s ridiculous. The banks themselves are breaking the law.”

Reuters was unable to reach police immediately for comment.

Banks, including Xinminsheng Yuzhou Village Bank and Huimin Shangcai National Bank, are being investigated by authorities for illegal fundraising, the Global Times reported.

More than 1,000 depositors from around the country planned to gather in Zhengzhou last month to find a way to withdraw their funds, but they were unable to do so when their COVID-19 health code, which determined a person’s can travel, switch to “no travel” state. .

Five officials were later punished for misuse of the health code system.

(1 dollar = 6.6945 yuan)

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