On Saturday, Shan Jiuliang, founder of Fanya Metals Exchange, was attempting to escape from a luxury hotel in Shanghai when he was grabbed by about 200 of of his company’s angry investors and taken to the police station, reports the Financial Times.
Fanya investors are upset because of a product called Ri Jin Bao, a financial product linked to minor metals such as indium and bismuth. Initially, it was sold under the premise that retail investors would garner annualized returns as high as 13.7% and would have the right to withdraw funds from the account at any time. However, Fanya froze the account in April after experiencing money problems, according to Xinhua.
The frozen Ri Jin Bao account is reported to be holding an estimated 40 billion yuan ($6.3 billion) in funds from 220,000 Chinese investors.
Investors have been demanding for several months that Fanya return their investments but have so far been ignored.
In July, over 800 investors protested the Fanya headquarters in the southwestern city of Kunming. In response, Fanya said his company would pay back 5 billion yuan ($787 million) worth of investments, which left the majority of the capital still unaccounted for.
While the demonstration in July forced Fanya to buy back a few investments, Shan’s capture on Saturday procured only comical publicity, as he was released from the Shanghai police station shortly after being delivered. Fanya responded to the bemusing capture of their leader on their website:
“Violent acts against president Shan and our employees or the disturbance of our work are destructive of our work around solving the crisis. This will only allow forces behind the scenes to profit and will greatly harm interests of all members.”