700 workers duped in another savings scam

Posted on Jan 09 2001

A bus load of angry garment factory workers trooped to the Department of Public Safety yesterday to complain the owner of Long City Traders Corp. who allegedly ran away with hundreds of thousands of dollars they entrusted in exchange for “bigger'” interest rate.

This is the second time in less than a month that a group of Chinese garment workers complained to DPS of being victimized by perpetrators of this savings scam. At least 45 workers have earlier came forward to sue a couple who allegedly collected from them over $100,000 on promise that their investment will double in just two months. (See related story on Page 3)

DPS said the suspect identified as Kwan Y. Chung, 53, one of the shareholders of Long City Traders, is now the subject of a police manhunt, but some sources believed the suspect has fled the island. Mr. Chung will be charged with theft by deception.

According to Police Capt. Delbert Sablan, this new case could be the biggest savings scam on Saipan as the number of garment workers victimized by Long City Traders could reach 700.

Based on police reports, the garment workers were lured into withdrawing their savings from the banks and depositing them to Long City Traders after they were promised higher interest rate.

Some 200 garment workers from THC rushed to the Koban in Garapan and the Criminal Investigation Division in Susupe to complain. One of the victims told the police that she entrusted her $35,000 savings to the company in the hope of earning more.

DPS spokesperson Rose Ada said some garment factory workers immediately complained to DPS after they discovered Sunday that the Long City Traders located along Beach Road in Western Garapan has closed down.

Police officers stationed at the Koban were overwhelmed after a huge number of garment workers were bused to the station to seek assistance.

They were later advised to proceed to the Criminal Investigation Division in Susupe to give their statement. As of 5:00 p.m. yesterday, the police were still interviewing some of the workers with the help of several interpreters.

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