China’s 'most wanted' jailed for life

2012-05-18 14:26

Beijing - The man once considered China's most-wanted fugitive was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for running a large-scale smuggling operation that paid off scores of Chinese government officials, state media said.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that Lai Changxing was convicted and sentenced on Friday morning by the Intermediate People's Court in Xiamen, the port city which operated as his base. He had battled deportation from Canada for a decade, saying he risked torture or execution if returned.

The court also sentenced him to 15 years for bribery and ordered all of Lai's personal property seized.

Highest level of government

Lai's smuggling operation reached to the highest levels of government, involving a deputy police minister and implicating a member of the Communist Party's decision-making Politburo. Lai's network smuggled everything from cigarettes to cars to oil. The court said the operation totalled $3bn and bribed 64 officials between 1996 and 1999.

Lai became China's most-wanted man after he fled to Canada in 1999 and became the center of a 12-year extradition battle until he was deported last year.

Before fleeing to Canada he lived a life of luxury in China complete with a bulletproof Mercedes Benz. He is alleged to have run a mansion in which he plied officials with liquor and prostitutes.

At the time, state TV splashed pictures of the network's allegedly ill-gotten gains: a tiger skin rug laid out on a conference table, confiscated cars belonging to corrupt bureaucrats, a sack of gold rings, and a picture of a young woman said to be a lover kept for one official by Lai.

Many imprisoned


Scores of officials and executives involved have been imprisoned and some executed over the scandal. Among those punished were a former deputy police minister, who was quietly removed from his posts as vice minister for public security and deputy chief of an anti-smuggling task force. The deputy mayor of Xiamen and the city's customs chief were also punished.

In Canada, Lai had avoided deportation by arguing he could face the death penalty or be tortured and would not get a fair trial in his home country.

But that legal battle ended in July when a federal court in Vancouver ruled Lai should not be considered a refugee and upheld his deportation.

In 2001, then-President Jiang Zemin sent the Canadian prime minister at the time, Jean Chretien, a diplomatic note with assurances Lai would not be executed if returned.

- SAPA

Read more on:    china  |  canada
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

The rich will pay - Mpofu

The EFF in Gauteng will focus all its energy on improving the lives of the poor, the party's premier candidate Dali Mpofu says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

SAP Intergration

Western Cape
Definitive Recruitment
Market Related

Service Desk Analyst

Western Cape
Datafin Recruitment
Market Related

Trainee Engineering Technician

Western Cape
Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Corporate)
Market Related

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia C3

The Nokia C3 Features a 2+ Megapixel Camera, A2DP, Bluetooth,...

From R1175.60

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.