BEIJING - Chinese police detained more than 4,500 suspects for indulging in the banned pyramid selling, a kind of business model in which people enroll others without any credible products or investment.

“Police investigated 1,900 cases of Pyramid selling and froze about 900 million yuan (USD 143 million) of illegal assets”, said a statement jointly issued by the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.

Pyramid selling has been banned in China since 1998, but "Remains rampant in some regions and is posing a growing threat to society," said the statement.

In response to the danger, the two agencies announced on Friday that police would crack down on such offenses under a new campaign which will run until the end of June.

The new campaign will focus on both traditional patterns of pyramid selling and Internet-based versions of the scam, said the statement.

It particularly noted the urgency of preventing pyramid selling in less developed western China and regions inhabited by ethnic minorities.