Beijing police have launched a criminal investigation of a man for faking a gold panning spree in a dried river course in the city's Fangshan district.
The man, surnamed Wei, purchased some granulated brass and sprayed it into the river course on Friday. He then advertised by the river that he would purchase the "gold" from residents who panned the granules. This drove people nearby to collect the granulated metal from the river course.
The police said the act was all aimed at increasing Wei's followers on social media. He is now under criminal investigation for causing a "severe public disturbance."
The video of the fake gold panning spree went viral on social media over the weekend, with many people believing that it was real. The police said they are investigating how the video was made and who else may have been involved.