24-year old Chinese
migrant worker surnamed Xu hired by a security
company in Guangdong had never had a brush with laws
until one day a year ago he walked past a AMT machine and
decided to withdraw 100 yuans of cash. When entering the
amount, he accidentally hit the zero button three times instead
of two, and that little extra finger movement is proved to
be fatal and has changed his life forever.
On that particular day after that fateful moment, Xu collected
1000 yuans even though he only had 170 yuans in credit, and
just one yuan was deducted from his account. It seemed that
each yuan on his card equalled to a thousand in cash. Amazed,
he pressed 1,000 again, and again, he got 1,000 yuans. Xu
is not a bad guy, but like the majority of folks working
in the banking industry, he is clearly not a saint either,
and when an opportunity occurs, greed got hold of him. He
repeated his action for 170 times until there was no credit
left on his card, by then he had harvested a total of 170,000
yuans in cash.
But as the yin reaches
its peak yang will grow, and when yang attains
the summit, the time comes for yin to take control,
what happened next to Xu once again confirms that this
law of the universe is valid all the time and on every
occasion. One year later this young man was told by an
intermediate court in Guangzhou that he would never have
a chance to execute his finger exercise on an AMT machine
for he would spend the rest of his life in jail for the
crime of "malicious cash withdrawal (恶意提款)".
The extraordinarily heavy sentence has angered a great number
of people, and in particular the most vocal members in the
community, the Chinese Netizens.
The heated public emotion over the perceived injustice was
further heightened by the revelations that the bank has long
been compensated by the AMT machine producers, and that a
bank manager surnamed Lu once refused Xu's offer when he
was on the run to return the money back. Lu reportedly threatened
Xu by saying: no matter you repay the money or not, you will
have to go to jail.
On Sina, one of the most popular online forums in China,
tens thousands of comments were left in a matter of days,
with the majority of them being critical of the heavy sentence
handed down by the Guangzhou court.
Below are some comments in one of China's most prestigious
forum sites, xinhuanet:
When we have some corrupted officials and sinister businessmen
who have stolen millions of yuans from the state and
are still at large, and now this little guy gets a life
for 170,000 yuans - it puzzles me.
Laws should be set up and developed to protect the vulnerable
groups of persons in our community (not the other way
That bank manager Lu is really full of bearing. Is that
whether Xu should go to jail or not determined by him?
This young man should be criticised on the ethical ground,
but not prosecuted for criminal offence, otherwise we'll
feel very insecure in life. Now there are already so
many things that make us fell quite insecure, this is
Former Vice Chief Justice of Guangzhou Intermediate Court
Xiao took 180,000 yuans of bribery and got three years;
former Guangzhou High Court Chief Justice Mai received
1.6 million yuans of bribery and got 15 years. A young
man with no criminal record collected 17,000 yuans that
the bank is partially responsible for, and he gets a
life. Call it justice. While this may deter others from
repeating the same offence, it also cows the seeds of
discord and hatred.
Once I withdrew 300 yuans from an ATM and got three 100
notes, among which one was fake but I didn't know at
the time. When later I used it to pay my electricity
bill, the problem was found and I was fined another 100
yuans. I went to the bank to seek justice, but was told
once I walked out of their gate, they were free of their
responsibilities. The court never charged the bank for
issuing fake motes. And now when that poor fella took
more money from them due to their own machine problems,
he gets a life.
恰巧我就用这张假钱去交了电费, 而就是这一百块让我又损失了一百块. 我去找工行的人员理论, 他们说我已经走出银行不予受理.
The bank manager and other relevant bank personnel should
be charged of breach of duty for causing the loss of
17,000 yuans. So why aren't they charged?
The precondition for achieving harmony is to hold up justice.
The judge delivered a malicious verdict.
Gap Is Widening