BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese police have detained 132 suspects for allegedly committing more than 2,000 cross-border medical frauds in nationwide raids since April, the Ministry of Public Security announced Thursday.
The suspects belonged to a fraud syndicate initiated by a company named "Silande," based in the city of Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, the ministry said in a statement.
The firm allegedly developed a national fraud network disguised as beauty salons. To lure victims into the fraud scheme, the salons offered some of their clients free tours to the United States and Thailand and then persuaded them to take medical examinations there.
When explaining examination results, "doctors," impersonated by someone hired, warned the victims of their so-called high cancer risk and tricked them into buying expensive "anti-cancer medicines," which were, in fact, lycopene and anthocyanin, the ministry statement said.
"The scheme targeted high-income and healthy clients who did not speak English nor had medical or legal backgrounds," it said.
The illegal money involved in the cases totaled nearly 1 billion yuan (145.7 million U.S. dollars), according to the police.
During the raids, police froze about 500 suspicious bank accounts with more than 70 million yuan.