Two foreign men reportedly made off with RMB369,000 from an "underground foreign exchange" in Beijing's Silk Market last week.
The duo changed 50,000 Euros in counterfeit 200 Euro bills on November 13, beginning at shop 2015 on the second floor of the Silk Market shopping center. There, daunted by the massive amount they wanted converted for renminbi, go-to stall holder for laowai Old Zhang called in money-changing "beauty" Chen Zhanhua from Sanlitun's Yashow Market.
Even Chen, however, didn't have enough cash to give the two men, who she later described as tall, fat Europeans. The high-rolling Old Jiang Couple were then called in as well. In the end, Chen gave the men RMB219,000 for EUR30,000; the Jiangs gave them RMB150,000 in exchange for EUR20,000; and Old Zhang received an RMB6,000 middleman's fee.
When Chen went to the bank to deposit the cash the next day, she realized it was all fake. Despite herself facing penalization for the illegal transaction, Chen went to Sanlitun police station the next day to report the case, hoping to catch the men and prevent them from cheating others.