53-year-old powerful Chinese billionaire identified as Shi, has confessed to robbing a bank 16 years ago and using the money to start up his massive property business empire now worth billions.
According to the People's Daily Online, the tycoon was arrested last week in central China's Zhumadian city for a crime he committed in December 1999.
At that time, five armed suspects broke into a bank in the city of Zhengzhou, injuring two clerks and walking away with 2.8 million yuan (£290,000) in cash.
Shi is said to be well known in Zhumadian for being an extremely powerful and successful property tycoon. He runs a number of businesses including industrial real estates, development and trade companies, and leisure farms. All earning him a fortune.
As well as property, he has billions invested in local businesses and often hosts regular charity events. All of this has influenced the community he lives in, and after he was arrested, he admitted to breaking into the bank with four armed suspects and stealing the money 16 years ago.
Vital clue: Investigator holds the hammer that became a key part in solving the 16 year-old case
Shi told police that before the robbery in the early 1990’s, he was not satisfied with his income as a construction worker, so he gathered a group of guys who were working as painters for a secret job.
Then for three months leading up to the raid they hatched a plan to rob the bank which included a well-designed escape route. The whole process which involved the suspects dressed as business men took just five minutes.
It was a case that shocked the whole country as there have been no arrests since it took place in 1999. Many of the investigators working on the case are now retired but they never gave up. From a list of 158 suspects they eventually narrowed it down to five.
16 years later the Zhengzhou City Public Security Bureau held a press conference to confirm the mystery of the 1999 bank robbery had successfully been solved.
At the conference Police Inspector Ba Xizheng said: 'With the modernization of criminal technology, after tireless efforts, investigators and technical personnel on-site finally found a breakthrough that led us to Zhumadian.'
A vital piece of evidence in the investigation was a hammer that was used to break the bullet proof glass during the raid.
The police managed to track down its manufacturer which led them to a market in Zhengzhou where they were sold. 24 had been bought in the time leading up to the robbery.
Investigators tracked down the whereabouts of 16 hammers which left eight unaccounted for, which eventually led them to the five suspects.
Culled from Dailymail