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This Is The Greatest Bank Heist in Chinese History

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11:42   |   May 31, 2019

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  • I'm Kento Bento.
  • This video is made possible by dashlane.
  • Download dashlane for free if you never wanna forget
  • another password again at the link in the description.
  • Handan, China
  • October 10th, 2006.
  • It was getting dark.
  • The vault manager of the Agricultural Bank of China was on edge.
  • He was afraid.
  • He felt something wasn't quite right.
  • Yes, there were two security guards patrolling the grounds,
  • which made him feel safer.
  • But as vault manager, he needed to be sure himself.
  • He checked the printer room, the conference room.
  • There was no one there.
  • No sign of trouble.
  • Then he entered the vault.
  • (door squeaking)
  • Where everything was also fine.
  • The money was there.
  • The bank's security system was down.
  • In fact, everything was just as he planned.
  • He started counting the money, but he knew he had to be quick.
  • The paranoia was starting to get to him.
  • He shoved the cash in his duffel bag
  • and swiftly left the vault.
  • For Ren Xiaofeng, it was good to be the man in charge.
  • It made robbing the Agricultural Bank of China
  • that much easier.
  • 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 dumped the bag of cash in the car and made no attempt at a getaway,
  • not yet, because his shift wasn't over.
  • As vault manager,
  • he still had about an hour left on the clock.
  • The next day, at home, he was relieved.
  • He had the cash in his possession was 200,000 yuan,
  • which actually wasn't all that much.
  • At the time, this was the equivalent of about $26,000 U.S. dollars.
  • Now, however, this wasn't the end of his plan.
  • Later that day, he made his way down the street
  • to a lottery vendor where he purchased a large quantity
  • of lottery tickets.
  • He did the same across the city - across Handan
  • with numerous vendors buying in bulk,
  • for this was his plan.
  • He was using the stolen money to buy lottery tickets
  • in the hopes of winning a sufficiently large prize.
  • Large enough to be able to return the missing funds
  • before anyone noticed they were missing.
  • The idea was the still have money leftover for himself.
  • That was his plan.
  • And if you haven't already figured it out,
  • that is a stupid plan.
  • Why?
  • Because the math simple doesn't add up.
  • Lottery tickets are designed to cost more
  • than the expected gain.
  • The chances of winning back more than you put in
  • and on this sort of scale is extremely low.
  • If it were that simple, then everyone would be doing it.
  • Despite the stereotype, this wasn't apparent to Ren.
  • Now you saw the title of this video.
  • This is meant to be a great heist.
  • And well, part of the reason that's the case is because
  • despite the unfavorable odds, Ren won.
  • The plan actually worked.
  • He was able to return the 200,000 back to the vault
  • and still pocket a large sum himself.
  • It all went smoothly, swift and efficient,
  • like a snap of a finger.
  • Celebrations were abound as the heist
  • was a genuine success.
  • And so with the banking staff none the wiser,
  • Ren settled back and watched the sunrise.
  • Now some people would move on, but not him.
  • Five months later in March 2007,
  • emboldened by his initial success,
  • he felt it was time for a round two.
  • This time though, his ambition was much greater.
  • The Agricultural Bank of China after all was one of the
  • big four banks in China and their vaults were loaded.
  • He wanted more.
  • So much more in fact, that he couldn't do it alone.
  • He still had the two security guards in his back pocket,
  • but they were just lookouts.
  • He needed someone in-bank who could help move the money
  • and to shield his activity from the rest of the staff,
  • at least till they could return the funds.
  • The missing 200,000 previously had gone unnoticed by the banking staff.
  • But this time around, if say, Ren were to wipe out 50%
  • of all money in the vault, it would be obvious.
  • Now, there was only one person Ren had his eye on,
  • and that was Ma, the other vault manager.
  • As he of all people was sure to notice the missing funds.
  • And so he had to bring him on board.
  • This was certainly a risk.
  • But fortunately for Ren, Ma was game
  • end game-
  • no.
  • Okay, it was time for the heist.
  • The second heist.
  • This one lasted much longer.
  • During the months of March and April, Ren and Ma
  • secretly carted out over two tons of cash,
  • the equivalent of 33,000,000 yuan,
  • or at the time $4.3 million U.S. dollars.
  • Now, by this point, the inconsistencies were adding up
  • and despite bringing Ma in, some of the staff members
  • were starting to notice.
  • It wasn't long before police were notified.
  • This was looking bad.
  • But as vault managers, Ren and Ma were able to use their sway
  • and come up with temporary excuses
  • which everyone seemed to buy.
  • They insisted, this sort of misplacement error happens from time to time
  • and that it was no big deal.
  • The money was sure to turn up sooner rather than later.
  • Of course, this was their attempt at buying time
  • as they had yet to scratch out all their lottery tickets.
  • And it was a lot of tickets.
  • 33,000,000 yuan worth - of piles and piles that
  • would put MrBeast to shame.
  • Over the many weeks, the two bought and scratched out
  • lottery tickets on an unprecedented scale.
  • Now, this time, shockingly, the lottery did what lotteries
  • are supposed to.
  • And they lost it all.
  • Unsurprisingly, police because increasingly suspicious
  • as the inconsistencies persisted.
  • It didn't fix itself as they were promised.
  • In desperation, Ren and Stimpy, I mean, Ren and Ma
  • came up with an ingenious solution,
  • doubling down with heist number three.
  • I mean, it was sure to work this time, it had to.
  • For the third heist, they stole a further 18,000,000 yuan
  • $2.3 million U.S. dollars
  • and went and bought even more tickets.
  • Unlike before, they were now on a serious time crunch
  • and they didn't have the luxury of spreading out
  • their activity over many weeks.
  • They purchased all their tickets in just one single day.
  • And hurriedly scratched till their fingers bled.
  • If you're wondering how the insane amount of ticket purchases
  • were made without raising suspicion,
  • well, that's because at the time, while China was transitioning to electronic,
  • cash was still king.
  • Now, at the end of the grueling day,
  • this was their reality.
  • Out of a total of 51,000,000 yuan, $6.7 million U.S. dollars
  • they were only able to recoup
  • a total of 98,000 yuan, $12,700.
  • Yep, they were screwed, and they finally knew it.
  • On the plus side though, the city of Handan reported
  • record breaking lottery ticket sales.
  • Must have been some good marketing.
  • On April 16th, the bank finally caught on
  • to the legitimacy of the missing funds,
  • as the vault managers could stall no more.
  • The police immediately set out to arrest the duo
  • for what was soon confirmed to be the largest
  • bank heist in Chinese history,
  • but they had already fled the city.
  • They were however, able to arrest a different duo,
  • the supporting cast of the two security guards
  • who were none too pleased with the lack of forewarning
  • given by their associates.
  • Ren and Ma were all about saving themselves,
  • having days earlier bought fake IDs before disappearing.
  • This prompted an extensive nationwide manhunt
  • with China's public security ministry placing the
  • two men on their most wanted list.
  • A bounty was placed on their heads.
  • Ma fled north to the capital Beijing.
  • While Ren made his way down to the Jiangsu province.
  • Their faces were now plastered all over the news
  • which for Ma, being in a bustling city like Beijing
  • wasn't so great.
  • Unsurprisingly, two days later, he was caught and arrested.
  • Then there was one, the mastermind, Ren,
  • who by now had made his way southwest by taxi
  • to the coastal city of Lianyungang
  • As China's most wanted, traveling 650km all by taxi
  • was probably not the smartest decision,
  • which he eventually caught on to as he later
  • swapped out the cab for a black Honda
  • which he made sure to have a sunroof, because, priorities.
  • After purchasing the car from a dodgy car salesman,
  • he realized he needed to quickly find a place to lay low.
  • Using his fake ID, he rented a high-end apartment
  • near the waterfront from his new landlord,
  • which along with his sunroof car,
  • was seriously eating away at his reserves.
  • It seemed, along with math,
  • long-term planning wasn't his thing.
  • But at least for now, it was time to kick back,
  • till things died down.
  • (door kicked open)
  • Except it was already over, because the police
  • knew exactly where he was.
  • It turned out that looking disheveled and unshaven for days
  • and paying for everything from a bag full of cash
  • was suspicious behavior, news to him.
  • It wasn't one person who notified police, it was three.
  • The taxi driver, the landlord, and the dodgy car salesman.
  • Indeed, it seemed the dodgy car salesman had come across
  • far dodgier than himself.
  • Since all three assisted with the capture,
  • they ended up splitting the 200,000 yuan reward,
  • which for Ren I guess was a fitting end.
  • As just as it all started with 200,000,
  • it has now ended with 200,000.
  • With everyone captured, the manhunt was over.
  • The two security guards were charged with
  • misappropriating public funds.
  • And were sentenced to up to five years in prison.
  • Ren and Ma were charged with embezzlement
  • and in court the prosecution pushed for the harshest sentence
  • under the law.
  • Ren in particular repented and tried to offer up advice
  • on how the bank could prevent such theft
  • from happening in the future.
  • But unfortunately, it was all too late.
  • They were given the death penalty.
  • And a year later, they were executed.
  • As for the Agricultural Bank of China,
  • they were embarrassed.
  • They took action by firing five bank officials for negligence,
  • including the Vice President of the province branch
  • for essentially allowing three heists to take place
  • under their watch.
  • It was later revealed, the bank hadn't even taken
  • a cash inventory for years
  • and no one had ever checked the surveillance.
  • So here's the moral of the story.
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  • If someone were to pull a Ren and Stimpy
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-----------------

[This Is The Greatest Bank Heist in Chinese History]

Handan, China; October 10th, 2006. It was getting dark.

The vault manager of the Agricultural Bank of China was on edge. He was afraid. He felt something wasn’t quite right. Yes there were two security guards patrolling the grounds, which made him feel safer, but as vault manager he needed to be sure himself.

He checked the printer room, the conference room, there was no one there, no sign of trouble.

Then he entered the vault…

…where everything was also fine; the money was there, the bank’s security system was down. In fact, everything was just as he planned.

He started counting the money, but he knew he had to be quick, the paranoia was starting to get to him. He shoved the cash in his duffel bag, and swiftly left the vault.

For Ren Xiaofeng, it was good to be the man in charge, it made robbing the Agricultural Bank of China that much easier.

But he still had to be careful, he wasn’t out of the woods yet....