CHINA / National

Lai's extradition to be settled tomorrow
(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2006-05-30 15:37

The Federal Court of Canada will hear Lai Changxing's appeal tomorrow, as Canadian authority's final assessment on his extradition disappointed him, Xinhua news agency reported today.

The Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board recently completed the final review on the extradition of Lai Changxing, China's most wanted fugitive.

Canadian Border Services Agency officers will immediately start the deportation procedure for Lai, if the court rejects his final appeal tomorrow.

"This is Lai's last chance at appealing to stay in Canada," a Canadian law expert said.

The extradition of Lai has been delayed for one week since last Tuesday, as the Federal Court of Canada postponed his appeal for refugee status.

Lai was arrested by Canadian Border Services Agency officers on May 16, after a final assessment concluded he would not be in danger if he was deported to China to face charges, including smuggling and bribery.

The Immigration and Refugee Board revoked the detention, rejecting arguments made by the agency that Lai has untapped financial resources he will use to flee before being sent back to China.

Lai is accused of heading a syndicate based in coastal Xiamen City, southeastern China's Fujian Province, which conducted the biggest smuggling operation uncovered in China since 1949, in collusion with corrupt government officials.

The case involved US$10 billion worth of goods ranging from cigarettes to cooking oil.

Lai fled to Canada with his wife Tsang Mingna and their three children in 1999. For years Lai has been trying to gain refugee status.

Tsang, now divorced from Lai, is subject to a separate deportation proceeding.


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