A Chinese woman thought it would be easier to change her face rather than work toward paying her debt.
After being ordered by a court in Wuhan, China, to pay up on her 25 million yuan loan ($3.7 million), 59-year-old Zhu Najuan decided she would be better off taking a page from the movie “Face/Off” and make herself completely unrecognizable.
So she did just that and changed her face with plastic surgery in order to avoid paying her debt. After duping her creditors, the woman vanished earlier this year. However, her master plan did not work out as planned, as police in Shenzhen got wind of her whereabouts and tracked her to her home.
When authorities from Wuhan came to arrest her, they were “astonished” at her changed appearance.
“We were very surprised at the scene,” China’s Xinhua agency quoted a policeman. “She looked in her 30s and was different from the photos we had.”
Zhu admitted while she was on the run, she used other people identities to buy herself train tickets and had borrowed bank cards to give herself a new face and support her new life. It is not yet clear who gave her their bank cards knowing she was $3.7 million in debt.
While China strives to make more credit available for consumer spending, it is facing a surge in household debt, which has more than doubled in less than 10 years. Meanwhile, authorities across the country are cracking down on defaulters and the police have detained 186 people in the city of Wuhan alone.
According to state media, one court in Jiangsu province drew up a blacklist of defaulters. Anyone who telephones an individual on the blacklist is first forced to listen to a pre-recorded message saying “please urge this person to fulfill their legal obligations.”
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Nir Elias