Photos of an alleged Chinese gangster posted on the photo-sharing website Imgur on Tuesday have gone viral with over 5 million views.
The man is shown in various photos allegedly stolen from his cellphone spotting a variety of "gangster" poses half-naked with a pot belly and piles of Chinese currency.
International Business Times speculates the photos were taken on a camera from a mobile phone.
Though it is unclear who posted them or whether they are genuine, the most noticeable of the 22 photos titled "Pics from a Chinese gangster's phone," shows a potbellied man posing with a stack of money ABC News estimates at about 174,000 British pounds(1.1 million Chinese yuan).
Most of the photos are dated from August 2010 and show the heavily tattooed man also posing with the symbols of his "gangster" affluence: Porsches, BMW and pedigree puppies. ABC News comments on the magnitude of vanity that makes a man revel in posing with money, lots of money, with his shirt off. There is also a photo showing his Luis Vuitton man-purse and a collection of gold accessories all showing taste consistent with the picture of the typical half-educated gangster. Another photo shows his thugs in action, beating up a man at the end of a secluded blind alley (see YouTube above).
Unknown Chinese gangster
IB Times reports, however, that based on the license plate numbers on the expensive cars, the photos were taken in Tianjin and Beijing. IB Times notes also that the amount of money the man was photographed with suggests there might an element of authenticity to the background of the story it tells.
ABC News notes a line of evidence on who the man might be: He poses with a Porsche Carrera with Tianjin license plates and a Porsche Cayenne SUV with Beijing plates. The evidence from the Tianjin license plate number 8888 is that he is a man with influence in Tianjin. According to ABC News, numerological beliefs feature prominently in Chinese culture and 8 is a number of "good fortune" among the Chinese. The number is considered very auspicious and a license plate with such number would usually be reserved for privileged, well connected and affluent individuals who can afford to dole out a lot of money to officials for one.