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China doles out bank scandal refunds after hundreds of arrests

More than 230 suspects detained in alleged scam involving $1.5bn in deposits

Demonstrators protest a freeze on deposits by rural-based banks outside a People's Bank of China building in the Henan province city of Zhengzhou.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- Chinese authorities on Tuesday scrambled to dole out refunds to depositors caught in a rural banking scam that has led to more than 200 arrests and triggered concerns about the country's small lenders.

At least $1.5 billion in deposits has been frozen since April at four county-level banks in central Henan province, setting off angry public protests and calls for refunds.

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