Tofu Maker Becomes Successful ‘Arms Dealer’ in China When Food Business Fails

One Chinese businessman in Ningbo certainly had a drastic turn in his career from being a simple tofu maker to becoming an arms dealer.

A food manufacturer, surnamed Zhou, was forced to close his tofu business after it failed to meet the country’s anti-pollution regulations, according to South China Morning Post.

In addition, making tofu required Zhou to dispose large quantities of waste water, which led to even more problems for his business.

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The 34-year-old shop owner then decided to enter the weapons trade market after meeting his friend, a former hardware manufacturer named Ying.

Zhou’s newfound business was certainly lucrative as it netted him a hefty 100,000 yuan ($15,176) profit in four months across 20 provinces. Both Zhou and his friend used parts from hardware shops to manufacture the airsoft guns, and used weapon blueprints they downloaded online.

The duo used the messaging apps QQ and WeChat to run their illegal network in collaboration with a local delivery company, which was suspended from trading and fined 300,000 yuan ($45,541).

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Unfortunately Zhou’s thriving business came to an end when police detained the ex-tofu maker, and his friend Ying along with eight other suspects. Among the products that Zhou sold include 10 high-pressure air guns powerful enough to end lives.

A delivery branch manager, identified only as Guo, was also detained after being accused of packaging and distributing the guns.

While airsoft guns are considered toys, shooting 6mm round pellets commonly known as “BBs”, it seems like possessing these are no joke, not just in China but also in countries such as Singapore.

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According to Today, a 26-year-old Singaporean man was arrested earlier this year for possessing just two air soft guns.

Airsoft guns are regulated in Singapore since they are considered as “arms” in the country’s Arms & Explosives Act. People found guilty of possessing these illegal plastic guns can be jailed for three years, and fined up to 10,000 Singapore dollars ($7,388).

Feature Image via Flickr / Matthew Bricks&Stones D. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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