July 8, 2014 – Liang Enmei, an antique dealer in Shanghai, was sentenced to a six years term in jail because he bought scrap coins and instead of smelting them down he sold them back to their countries of origin after cleaning the coins. For that purpose he employed his brother-in-law Wang Chuwei and, later on, other family members.
Over a ten month period Mr Liang bought ten tons of coins from abroad worth more than 875,000 euros which had not been destroyed, and ordered Mr Wang to clean them. Although Mr Wang stated that he was unaware of the fact that his doing is illegal, authorities refuted to accept this point of view and sentenced him to two years of jail.
It was not communicated where the coins came from. However, it is a common practice that coins are eliminated from circulation by shredding them and eventually smelting them down. In the last years media reported recurrently that Chinese entrepreneurs were jailed for applying the same procedure to p.e. Euro coins since it is a highly profitable business. In 2014 a Chinese couple was arrested in Denmark because they tried to sell cleaned scrap coins to a bank as we reported.
You can read an article about this latest case with many photographs on Daily Mail.