‘Most-wanted Chinese smuggler admits crimes’

A smuggler deported from Canada, known as China`s most-wanted fugitive, has been indicted after he "confessed" to bribery and smuggling goods.

Updated: Dec 30, 2011, 22:24 PM IST

Beijing: A smuggler deported from Canada,
known as China`s most-wanted fugitive, has been indicted after
he "confessed" to bribery and smuggling goods worth USD 10
billion, the state media reported on Friday.

Lai Changxing, 53, the main suspect in a smuggling
syndicate that dates back to the 1990s in Xiamen, a coastal
city in southeast Fujian province, fled to Canada 12 years ago
and had sought asylum there.

Lai became China`s most-wanted man after he fled to
Canada in 1999 and fought extradition for 12 years until he
was deported in July.

Lai, who was transferred for prosecution, was extradited
after the Chinese government promised he would not be
executed.

After he was repatriated on July 23, Lai was arrested and
investigated for smuggling and bribery, customs anti-smuggling
agency and prosecutor`s office of Xiamen said in a statement.

The investigation revealed that Lai had smuggled a huge
number of commodities, such as cigarettes, cars, petroleum,
cooking oil, chemicals and equipment, through Xiamen Customs
from 1996 to 1999, the statement said.

Chinese media reported that Lai`s alleged smuggling
operation was valued at USD 10 billion.

He bribed dozens of government officials and also ordered
his subordinates to do so, which involved a significant amount
of money, it said, adding that both Lai and the other suspects
involved have "confessed" to the charges.

The legal rights of Lai and other suspects have been
fully protected, and investigators have arranged for legal
representation for Lai, state-run a news agency reported.

PTI