China sentences former fugitive to life in prison - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

China sentences former fugitive to life in prison

State media say former fugitive Lai Changxing has been sentenced to life in prison for running a large-scale smuggling operation that paid off scores of Chinese government officials.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that Lai was convicted and sentenced 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.

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 totaled $3 billion and bribed 64 officials between 1996 and 1999.

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