The depositors’ story in Henan failing to withdraw their deposits is not over yet. Recently, depositors raised protest banners in Zhengzhou, and the police suppressed the protest by firing guns and forcing people to board buses.

The latest protest of Henan depositors

Radio Free Asia reported that a protest by those unable to withdraw money from Henan rural banks ended with a police crackdown on June 25.

Protesters from different provinces gathered at the Henan Banking and Insurance Administration for several days to protest the freezing of bank withdrawal services. 

Several witnesses recorded a video depicting depositors lining up in two long lines, shouting: “Henan Bank give back our money! Qin Hanfeng, come out! Qin Hanfeng, come out!”

(Qin Hanfeng is Secretary of the Party Committee and Director of the Henan Supervision Bureau under the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.)

Behind them, a banner said, “The Henan Rural Banks collude inside and outside to appropriate people’s deposits. God does not forgive!”

On the opposite sidewalk, the police appeared, standing in a long line next to dozens of large buses.

Vision Times said protests emerged a few days ago. However, on the 25th, it became more prominent and forced the special police to hire “underworld” assistance to suppress it.

Another video of the scene of the incident. When a woman saw police grabbing a protester, she shouted: “Why arrest people like this?”

Then, four policemen dragged two protesters into the orange bus. People continued to shout: “Capture people, catch people, catch people!” “Arrested again.”

Interspersed with the screams of the people were continuous gunshots.

Four policemen suppressed a woman and took her away, screaming in one case.

In another video, people in blue raincoats (believed to be Zhengzhou police) attacked a witness filming a live video. Tweet line: “Directly Zhengzhou police beat people.”

Another video depicts plainclothes men forcing a protester onto a white bus. The video owner tweeted: “Witnesses say Zhengzhou Police look for underworld employees to clean up depositors.”

Vision Times quoted some netizens as saying: “It’s scary”; “The bandits act”; “Oh my god, hit people!”; “Is this our homeland?”; “Thieves beat people up”; “Bus catch people”; “If you live in China, let’s take advantage of the fun.”

Radio Free Asia quickly called Zhengzhou police to confirm gunfire at the scene. Zhengzhou police replied that they did not know about this situation. Zhengzhou police then said that the reporter could save the phone number and they would contact them later.

A day after the protest, bank opens for withdrawals for 15 minutes

On June 27, some depositors of Henan Rural Bank reported to Jiemian News that  Kaifeng New Oriental Rural Bank suddenly opened the APP mobile banking application for a short time (about 15 minutes) from 12:41 to 12:56 on June 26.

A screenshot of a successful withdrawal shows she withdrew all principal and interest, totaling more than $150,000. However, some depositors said they could only withdraw the interest on their money.

While the transaction portal was open, the official website of Kaifeng New Oriental Rural Bank still announced the closure of the online transaction system.

Sina posed the question that in a significant financial case, a bank involved was able to secretly open an online system (which it had previously closed) for 15 minutes. How many people could know the news? Open for such a short time—for who?

Stories of people who can’t withdraw money

On April 18, many rural banks in Henan suddenly announced that they could not provide withdrawal services due to the financial crisis.

These banks include Yuzhou Xinminsheng Rural Bank, Shangcai Huimin Rural Bank, Zhecheng Huanghuai Rural Bank, and Kaifeng New Oriental Rural Bank. The reason given was because of “system upgrade and maintenance,” withdrawals and transfers have been frozen. Anuaihe Village Bank Anhui Guzhen, and Yixian Rural Bank, Xinhuaihe, are also in a similar condition.

Unable to withdraw money, depositors from all over the Mainland gathered in Henan, especially Zhengzhou to claim their money. Several protests broke out during this time.

However, another incident also occurred, where the health codes of depositors suddenly turned red (indicating someone infected with Covid 19 or in contact with an infected patient) even though they were not infected. When the health code turns red, the local authorities block depositors immediately. The local police also went to the hotels where the protesters stayed to take them to quarantine. They detained them at designated locations or asked them to return home.

The case involves $5.9 billion, with 400,000 people unable to withdraw their deposits. So far, there are no positive signs for depositors.

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