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The Jiamusi People's Police Academy, Shandong province branch, offered impressionable school leavers a three year law enforcement studies course taught by veteran officers on a new campus.
The rookie officers prepared to stump up the £2,000 fees were promised their hard won diplomas would land them jobs keeping the streets safe from criminals – including, one imagines, apprehending the innovative counterfeiters who have produced a long list of fraudulent products, including fake walnuts, vintage wine and the ubiquitous plastic Rolex.
The sham police school was closed after its "honorary president", Wei Zhenhai, inadvertently exposed the scheme. He boasted about his friends in high places to two female undercover officers who visited the admission office posing as potential students. Mr Wei claimed his unique constabulary connections would help them secure posts.
Genuine constables then pounced and arrested the academy's 23 staff, including the president, Zhao Qingxin.
China has got fake handbags, fake watches and even a fake Apple store, but this "fake" takes the cake: Fake Police Academy.