When two lottery-obsessed bank employees created The largest and greatest bank robbery in Chinese history. We will gonna talk about Ren Xiaofeng and his partner ma and how they pulled out this heist.
1.The Journey Of Ren Xiaofeng
Ren Xiaofeng had become a lottery winner. He was the youngest of four children in a wealthy northern Hebei household. Ren had chubby cheeks and was very handsome. As China opened up to the rest of the world in the 1980s, his generation of rural young men moved to cities to work in factories and construction sites. On the other hand, Ren was spared the hard time since his parents took a big step ahead for him. Ren’s father, a Communist Party official, moved the family from their village in rural Hebei province to the tiny city of Daming before he was born. Ren got ping-pong lessons thanks to his father’s sports connections, went to an excellent school in the ancient border city, and then transferred to bustling Handan for high school. Ren’s father wasn’t rich, but they had enough money to pay bribes and get Ren a position at the city’s biggest and most prominent branch of the Agricultural Bank of China, one of China’s “big four” banking organizations.
Ren stood out because he has some of the fastest fingers in the country. Most Chinese banks lacked advanced computerized bill counting equipment at the time. Tellers were taught — rather, drilled — how to count by hand. As the bills clicked like bicycle spokes, others strummed piles of cash with four or five fingers. While flipping banknotes, others poked with their pointer fingers like a sewing machine needle. Waving money around like a hand fan was another technique.
2.Abilities And Family Of Ren
Ren stood out because he has one of the fastest fingers in the country.A skilled teller could count 800 dollars in five minutes, double-check the count, then band and stamp the stack of cash. Ren, an expert counter, could whizz through 2,000 dollars in the same period. Banks conducted inter-branch contests regularly, and Ren won a local competition before finishing second in a regional event. The bank promoted him to management since it was proud of its local son. He proposed to a lovely lady he met at work shortly after.
Finally, in 2004, Ren’s young wife gave birth to a boy and a girl, dubbed “dragon-phoenix twins” in China (the dragon represents the boy, phoenix the girl). With China’s one-child policy still in place in the early 2000s, having fraternal twins (odds: 1 in 43) was like winning the lottery. Ren’s parents often came to babysit. The family lived in a modest apartment block where neighbors growled over the twins. His life reflected the concept of double bliss.
3.How He Got Into Lottery
Ren had a terrible break in 2006 when the Agricultural Bank of China cut its top ranks. Ren, 33, was demoted from manager to a lower-level position in the vault, processing cash withdrawals. The bank reduced his pay. He needed more funds to sustain his small family. Ren had always been lucky, according to his coworkers. Why didn’t he try his luck at gambling and lottery?
When the Communists took control in 1949, they prohibited gambling across the country. Ren’s only legal gambling options at the time were casinos in Macau, horse racing in Hong Kong (both of which are expensive for him), and state-run lotteries. A third of lottery proceeds were donated to charitable initiatives such as senior care, public sports grounds, and the Red Cross. The China Welfare Lottery and China Sports Lottery were flourishing by 2006, with an income of $10.4 billion rising.
4.China Under Pressure In Beijing Olympics 2008
The funds were desperately required.The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing was approaching, and the organizers were in urgent need of funds. The games would showcase China’s worldwide ambitions, with a price tag of $45 billion, making them the most costly in history.
The daily drawings from a Beijing studio where huge plastic bubbles roiled with numbered balls were aired on state-run television. Ren purchased a Chinese Sports Lottery 2 ticket (worth approximately 25 cents). He was defeated. He went out and purchased some more. He watched the balls bounce in the other direction once again.
The losses were painful since they opposed his otherwise fortunate existence. What’s more distressing is that they didn’t compete with everyone else’s good fortune. In 2006, his wonderful fortune — a gorgeous wife, dragon-phoenix twins, and a secure career — didn’t seem so fantastic when he glanced around China.
5.What Force Him To Do this Bank Robbery
Ren had a front-row seat at the bank to the world’s biggest economic growth. Ren was on a fixed income while China’s GDP grew by double digits. Ren rented a small building for bank workers despite rising property costs. The Shanghai Composite Index surged as newly minted millionaires splashed their cash on bottles of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, which they blended with Coca-Cola. Local coal magnates flooded Handan’s bank vaults with piles of cash, even in the arid backwater of Handan. Everyone else seemed to be becoming wealthier.
Ren had to feed two additional mouths, as well as his elderly parents. He went to dingy, back-alley lottery shops after work. A barcode scanner chirped a mournful beep to notify his small paycheck when he cashed the rare winning ticket, and the shopkeeper fished some spare yuan from a drawer. Ren could smell oily gutters and dirty public bathrooms as he walked home, pressing a few soiled dollars between his fingers. It was a marked contrast to his days managing the finances of the city’s newly rich, counting out thousands of crisp, red $100 notes in the face of Chairman Mao’s suspicious gaze.
Handan, a three-million-strong industrial city in northern China, is approximately a two-hour bullet train journey from Beijing.
On October 10, 2006, in Handan, China. It was starting to become dark. Ren, the vault manager of the Agricultural Bank of China, was on the verge of losing his job. He was terrified. Something didn’t seem quite right to him. Yes, the premises were patrolled by two security officers, which made him feel secure. However, as vault manager, he had to be certain of himself. He went over to the printer room and the conference room to double-check everything. There was no one else in the room. There are no signs of danger. He then went inside the vault. Everything was great there. The money was there. The security system at the bank was down.
In reality, everything went according to plan. He began counting the money, but he realized he needed to move quickly. He was becoming more nervous. He quickly stuffed the cash into his duffel bag and escaped the vault. It felt wonderful to be in control of Ren Xiaofeng. It made stealing China’s Agricultural Bank a lot simpler.
But he still had to be careful. He wasn’t out of the woods yet. He cautiously made his way to his car, but then suddenly, flashlights. It was the two security guards. They had spotted him. They glanced down at his duffel bag and asked if he got the money. You see, it was smart to enlist the help of the two security guards, as it made him feel safer.
He put the cash bag in the vehicle and made no effort to flee since his shift wasn’t done yet. He still had approximately an hour remaining on the schedule as vault manager. He was freed the following day at home. He had 200,000 yuan in cash in his hands.
It wasn’t a huge amount of money. This was about $26,000 in US currency at the time. But his mission didn’t stop there. He went down the street later that day and bought many lottery tickets from a lottery seller.
He did the same thing all over the city, across Handan, with several vendors purchasing in quantity, as was his goal. He was buying lottery tickets with the stolen money in the hopes of obtaining a big enough reward. Large enough to be able to repay the lost money before they were discovered.
The plan was for him to have some money left over. That was his plan all along. That is, if you haven’t already realized, a foolish idea. Why? Because the numbers don’t add up. Lottery tickets are intended to be more expensive than they value over the past. On this scale, the odds of winning back more than you put in are very slim.
Everyone would be doing it if it were that easy. Ren was unaware of this, despite the assumption. Ren won despite the unfavorable odds.
The strategy was successful. He was able to return the 200,000 to the vault while still pocketing a massive portion. Everything moved easily, quickly, and effectively, as if it were a snap of a finger. The robbery had been a complete success. Therefore there were plenty of celebrations. Ren sat back and watched the dawn, unaware of the banking staff’s suspicions. Some people would move on at this point, but not him.
7.The Involvement OF 2nd Partner
He thought it was time for round two-five months later, in March 2007, encouraged by his first success. His ambition, on the other hand, was considerably stronger this time. After all, the Agricultural Bank of China was one of China’s major four banks, and its vaults were full. He craved for more. He couldn’t do it alone because he needed so much more. He had the two security guards in his back pocket, but they were serving as lookouts. He wanted someone within the bank to assist him in moving the cash and keep his activities hidden from the rest of the employees, at least until the funds were returned. The missing 200,000 had previously gone undetected by bank employees.
This time, however, Ren wiped away half of the money in the vault. It would be obvious. Ren only had one person on his mind at the moment, and that was Ma, the other vault manager. He, of all persons, would be the first to discover the missing money. As a result, he had no choice but to bring him along. This was unquestionably a gamble. It was finally time for the heist.
This one lasted a long time. Ren and Ma secretly carried off nearly two tonnes of cash in March and April, the equivalent of 33,000,000 yuan, or $4.3 million US dollars at the time. By this time, the inconsistencies had accumulated to the point where some staff members were beginning to notice despite bringing Ma in.
It wasn’t long before the cops were called. This was starting to look terrible. Ren and Ma, on the other hand, were able to utilize their influence as vault managers to create brief explanations that everyone appeared to believe. They claimed that this kind of misplacement mistake occurs sometimes and that it was not a significant issue. The money was certain to show up sooner or later. Of course, they were attempting to buy time since they had not yet scratched all of their lottery tickets. And there were a lot of them.
33,000,000 yuan are worth of heaps and stacks that would put MrBeast, the YouTuber, to shame. The two purchased and scratched lottery tickets in extraordinary quantities over many weeks. Surprisingly, the lottery performed what it was intended to do this time. They were robbed of everything.
As the inconsistencies continued, the cops grew more suspicious. It did not self-correct, as they had been told. Ren and Stimpy, Ren and Ma, found an innovative solution in desperation, doubling down on robbery number three.
I mean, it had to work this time. They took another 18,000,000 yuan (USD 2.3 million) for the third theft and used it to buy even more tickets. They were now in a severe time crunch, and they didn’t have the luxury of spreading out their activities across many weeks, as they had done before.
They bought all of their tickets in a single day. And they scratched furiously till their fingers bled. Suppose you’re wondering how such a large number of tickets were purchased without raising suspicion. In that case, it’s because cash was still king at the time, even if China was moving to electronics.
This was their reality after the exhausting day. They were only able to recover 98,000 yuan, or $12,700, out of a total of 51,000,000 yuan, or $6.7 million in US dollars. They were doomed, and they finally realized it.
10.The Result OF 3 Robberies On Agriculture Bank Of China
The city of Handan, on the other hand, recorded record-breaking lottery ticket sales. It has to be some clever marketing. The bank eventually realized the legitimacy of the stolen money on April 16, when the vault managers could no longer delay. The police went out right once to arrest the pair for what was soon proven to be China’s biggest bank robbery, but they had already left the city.
They were able to identify a separate pair, the supporting cast of two security guards who were dissatisfied with their colleagues’ lack of forewarning. Ren and Ma were only concerned with saving themselves, having purchased false IDs only days before leaving.
Officers smashed through the steel door when bank management eventually contacted the cops. When bank authorities entered, they discovered their greatest fears had come true: they’d been robbed. They discovered a plastic bag stuffed with expired lottery tickets inside. Ren’s departure remains a mystery — a taunt, maybe, or lack of attention, or just a pleading for forgiveness: Hey, at least the money from the state-owned bank got to the state-owned lottery.
11.The Hunting Of Ren And Maa
The news had spread so rapidly via the taxi radio network that the state-run media could no longer ignore it. By noon, radio stations had reported on the case in broad strokes. Local television broadcasted the news across the region late at night. Journalists from all across the nation came to the event. Both then and today, the Chinese press seldom writes accurately on government corruption, making the media frenzy all the more extraordinary.
Ren and Ma had robbed the bank of 51 million yuan, worth $6.6 million. They had now become China’s most serial bank thieves. They were still on the loose. Newspapers all across China ran articles speculating on how Ren and Ma managed to pull it off. Journalists claimed that they had pulled out more than 3,300 pounds of cash, a number revised higher by an expert because accumulated dirt on the notes would have added another 600 pounds. Journalists besieged Ren and Ma’s hometowns. Many locals said Ma was a trustworthy person, and their first response was doubt.
This sparked a massive national search. The two guys were placed on China’s most-wanted list by the public security ministry. They had a bounty put on their heads. Ma escaped to Beijing, China’s capital. Ren, on the other hand, traveled to Jiangsu province. Their faces were suddenly broadcast all over the press, making Ma’s life a little more difficult in a bustling city like Beijing.
12.Did They Get Caught?
Unsurprisingly, he was caught and arrested two days later. Then there was Ren, the mastermind, who had made his way southwest via taxi to Lianyungang, a seaside city. As China’s most wanted man, going 650 kilometers in a taxi was not the best idea, as he finally realized when he changed the cab for a black Honda with a sunroof. He knew he needed to locate a spot to hide after buying the vehicle from a suspicious car dealer.
He lends an apartment on the seaside from the landlord using his fake ID. The money is getting deducted from his savings and his sunroof vehicle. It appeared that, like math, long-term planning wasn’t his thing.
But, for the time being, it was time to relax and unwind till things calmed down. (door slams open) Except it was already over since the cops knew where he was. He had no idea that appearing messy and unshaved for days and paying for everything with a suitcase full of cash was considered suspicious conduct. It wasn’t just one individual who alerted the authorities; it was three. The shady auto salesperson, the taxi driver, and the landlord.
13.Result And Effect On Agriculture Bank Of China
Indeed, it seemed that the shady auto salesman had met someone even shadier than himself. Because they all helped with the capture, they shared the 200,000 yuan bounty, which I suppose was a fitting finish for Ren. It all began with 200,000 and has now come to an end with 200,000. The search was finished now that everyone had been captured.
Misuse of public money was prosecuted against the two security guards. And they may face up to five years in jail if convicted. Ren and Ma were accused of theft, and the prosecution demanded the heaviest penalty possible in court. Ren, in particular, expressed regret and attempted to give suggestions on how the bank might avoid future thefts.
However, it was already too late. They were sentenced to death. They were executed a year later. The Agricultural Bank of China, on the other hand, was humiliated. They responded by dismissing five bank employees, including the Vice President of the provincial branch, for enabling three heists under their watch. The bank had not conducted a cash inventory in years. No one had ever examined the surveillance, and it was later revealed.
So there you have it, the moral of the story. Make sure you don’t make the same error as China’s Agricultural Bank. Secure your computer and keep your financial data safe online.
Ren and Ma were executed on March 31, 2008. Employees at the Agricultural Bank of China were forbidden from discussing the matter. Local courts sealed the legal records. Ren and Ma became legends. Their names now evoke laughs, curiosity, and even a glimmer of pride in Handan. Locals who took on the guy and triumphed, although for a brief time.