When Chengdu resident Wang Jiangang went looking for the property whose title deed he held in his hand, all he found was that it didn't exist.
"This is my property-ownership title. Here it's written 9 Zhanqi Dong Lu, Block 4, Bldg. 4, Sixth floor, No. 26 in the Qingyang District of Chengdu city. But here there is no such building—there are only three buildings in this block."
"There are only three buildings here," chimed in a neighbor. "There's only ever been three buildings here."
Wang Jiangang said that two years ago he made acquaintance with a person named Tang Honglie who asked to borrow some money. As a deposit Tang Honglie gave Wang the property deeds and signed a loan contract. Not taking Tang Honglie for his word, Wang went to the Chengdu Real Estate and Property Rights Center to inquire about the deeds and was told that they were real and valid, that the building records, registration forms, and so forth were all there. The Property Management Bureau also issued documents verifying the authenticity of the titles.
But it wasn't before long that Tang Honglie disappeared. Wang believed that he held property titles, and it never occurred to him that the properties written on the titles simply didn't exist.
When he knocked on the door of the Chengdu Property Management Office, Wang Jiangang found out that he wasn't the only one: Dozens of others had befallen the same fate as he.
"This was a case of negligence," said the Chengdu Property Management Bureau.
The Sichuan Construction Office explained that there are 81 of these false title deeds. Tang Honglie, who acted as vice chief of a real estate company from 2006 to 2008, issued these "imaginary building" title deeds, concocting stories on high buildings, in order to successfully convince the Chengdu Property Management office to issue the titles. Later he went separately to the Communications Bank, Bank of China, People's Welfare Bank, Agricultural Bank, etc. to apply for loans. With these seemingly authentic deeds issued by the Property Office, Tang succeeded in taking out over RMB13 million in bank loans. At the same time, Tang used the same title deeds to wantonly bamboozle several million RMB out of friends and family.