A man who claimed he had got 11 bills of "ghost money" in his 2,000-yuan (US$327) withdrawal from an ATM earlier this month was found to have falsely blamed the bank and was given seven days of detention and a fine, police in Xi'an in Shaanxi Province said today.
Ghost money is fake paper money burned for good fortune and to appease the gods or wandering spirits, according to Chinese folk customs.
After an investigation, police said the man, surnamed Chen, had had a massage in a small inn after he withdrew 2,000 yuan from the ATM. When he found 11 of the bank notes were replaced by the false paper money later, he decided to shift the blame to the bank by calling the police and saying he got the 11 notes from an ATM, the report said.
Besides his detention, Chen was given a fine of 200 yuan.
Xi'an police said they are still hunting for those suspected of switching the real banknotes to ghost money.