Apology for China Red Cross scandal

(AP)

Guo Meimei

Guo Meimei, a 23-year-old woman who dragged the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) into a credibility crisis three years ago, has in her latest confession denied any relations with the charity group, police said on Sunday.

“I have never worked for the Red Cross Society, nor did any of my friends and relatives, not even my ex-boyfriend Mr Wang. Personally, I don’t know any Red Cross staff members either. I made a grave mistake because of my vanity,” Guo made the confession in mid-July after she was detained in Beijing over online gambling accusations.

In June 2011, Guo raised eyebrows in China’s cyberspace by blogging about her wealthy lifestyle with luxury sports cars and designer bags. And on her profile page of Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging site in China, Guo identified herself as the “commercial general manager” for the “China Red Cross Chamber of Commerce.”

Despite several statements denying its relations with Guo and the “China Red Cross Chamber of Commerce,” the RCSC – China’s biggest charity organization – and its affiliates were soon brought under attack for their alleged corruption and misuse of public donations.

“I’d like to try my best and use this chance to clarify the situation, to tell the truth, and clear the name for the Red Cross Society. I sincerely apologize to the Red Cross, I’m really sorry. And I apologize to everyone, especially those who were denied their due aid because of me,” she added.

Guo is now under detention at the Dongcheng branch of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau for organizing and participating in an online World Cup gambling event.

According to police, Guo has owned a gambling house in Beijing since 2013. In each betting, Guo would get a return of 3 to 5 percent of the gambling fund, which meant she received tens of thousands of yuan.

“In her confession, she mentioned that evil news rides fast, while good news baits later. But be it a good name or notoriety, she had gained a lot materially from her fame. And that’s why she was riding on all the hype: she knew she could get many things out of it,” said Chen Gang, a pretrial inquiry officer at the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau’s Dongcheng branch.

The police also found that Guo had also conducted a sex trade disguised as performances. In a deal in July 2013, Guo charged 460,000 Hong Kong dollars (59,340 U.S. dollars) for a night with a man from Guangdong Province, police said.

“After the Red Cross incident, to be frank, the name Guo Meimei became well-known and there were a lot of men who wanted to keep me as a mistress or just pay to sleep with me.”

The other key figure in the RCSC scandal, Wang Jun, was detained by police on July 24 in Beijing, Xinhua reported. Wang confessed that he had had a sexual relationship with Guo at the time and invested in Zhonghong Bo’ai, a company that reportedly had dealings with an RCSC’s affiliate.

Zhonghong Bo’ai was launching a project with the Commerce Sector Red Cross, an organization affiliated with the RCSC, and Guo wanted to be the CEO of the company. The project fell through at the last moment.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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