Yakou becomes a smuggling depot, attracting extortionists
The coastal residents Shi Hou and Shi Shubao built a grass hut near the sea locks at Yakou Village for storing and reselling opium. They then hired their longtime acquaintances, the Zhan family of fishermen (Zhan Fu, Zhan Fan, and Zhan He) who in turn hired Lin Ji, Shi Ou, and Shi Gu, offering a flat payment of 3,000 wen [copper cash] per boat to be split among the boatmen.
The team of men travelled to the outer ocean and bought opium from foreign boats, and then stored and resold it at the grass hut. Soon after, because the foreign boats were lacking in water and grain, Shi Hou ordered the Zhan boatmen to go assist them.
While Shi Hou and his compatriots were storing opium in the grass shack, a neighbor named Zhu Guang (captured) along with the cashiered Quanzhou Prefecture clerk Xu Zhenpan learned of the Shi clan’s collusion with foreigners to smuggle opium for great profit, and came up with a plan to cheat them. Xu and Zhu traveled together to Shi Hou’s grass shack and Zhu Guang deceitfully told Shi Hou that the county inspectors had ordered him along with Xun Zhenpan to arrest Shi Hou, but if Shi could offer some money Xu and Zhu could get them out of the problem.
Shi Hou knew that Xu Zhenpan had worked in the Quanzhou prefect’s office and was familiar with the government office, so he believed the story and gave Zhu and Xu 80 silver taels each and they departed. Soon after, Zhu Guang returned to the grass shack and used 150 taels to buy 10 bricks of opium, which he resold at various places along the coast for a profit of 50 taels.
Source: Junji chu Hanwen lufu zouzhe (Grand Council Chinese-Language Palace Memorial Copies, often cited as LFZZ), Beijing: First Historical Archives, 03–4007–048, DG 18.10.29.