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Thirteen on trial for human smuggling
By Qiu Quanlin (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-27 05:50

GUANGZHOU: Thirteen people, including an airline employee are currently on trial for human smuggling in the capital of South China's Guangdong Province.

Sources at the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court said yesterday that the alleged human smugglers known as "snakeheads" are accused of helping 200 Chinese emigrate illegally to European countries last year.

The three-day trial ends today and the "principal defendants could face serious punishment if they are found guilty," Li Zhongyuan, a spokesman for the court, told China Daily. It is not known when a ruling is expected.

Sources at the court also indicate that a number of immigration officials involved in the case but not charged are on the run.

However, Lin Chuanfeng and Zeng Weixing, the two principal suspects, denied the charges.

The court quoted Lin Chuanfeng as saying that the real mastermind behind the case is Lin Chuangan, who is at large. Meanwhile, Zeng told the court that he was not involved at all.

Lin Chuangan is alleged to have provided fake passports for Chinese from other regions.

Lin Chuanfeng and Zeng Weixing were allegedly responsible for organizing accommodation overseas, securing visas and buying air tickets.

All three main suspects are from East China's Fujian Province; and it is estimated that each of them made 1,000-3,000 yuan (US$123-369) for every illegal emigrant they helped.

(China Daily 10/27/2005 page2)

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