Planet Charity: 'Orphan' scam nets £1,600 in China

Plus: the toilet roll thieves in the US and the Chilean footballer who promised crash cash for charity

Planet Charity: stories strange but true
Planet Charity: stories strange but true

We start in China, where an emotional appeal from a young orphan brought donations rolling in from the employees of the Grand Huatian Group in Shandong province. The boy was one of a group that spoke before about 2,000 of the company's employees and prompted them to give an extra £1,600 on top of the £52,000 they had already raised for the orphanage. All well and good - until it turned out that boy and his colleagues weren't actually orphans and had all been hired at £52 a head to take part in an elaborate charity scam.

A happy ending in the US, where a charity that provides items to people in poverty had about 10,000 toilet rolls nicked by thieves who presumably had extremely upset tummies. Volunteers for the St Martin de Porres Center in Springfield, Illinois, had collected about 11,000 bog rolls for the charity, but most of them were stolen from a trailer where they were being stored. Thankfully, the local Hy-Vee supermarket got wind of the tale and offered to replace them for free. Police are trying to get to the bottom of what happened.

Finally, to Chile, where the footballer Arturo Vidal promised to make up for crashing his car when over the drink-drive limit by donating to an unspecified charity his fee for participation in the recent Copa America tournament. He was filmed allegedly telling a police officer in rather crude terms that arresting him would ruin his country's chances of winning the competition, but the copper stuck to his guns and Vidal lost his driving licence. His prediction was wide of the mark too, because Chile went on to beat Argentina in the final – on penalties.

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