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"Snake heads" boss given life term in prison
Updated: 2004-03-19 15:33

The boss of a human trafficking gang was sentenced to a life term in prison by the Shanghai Higher People's Court on Thursday.

Dong Feng was accused of trafficking 51 people across the border illegally from 2000 to 2002 and earning 1.8 million yuan (US$220,000) from the stowaways. The court also confiscated his personal possessions and the gang's two cars and laptop computer.

Another two people, his wife and brother, were accused of following and helping him and were sentenced to three and four years in jail respectively and fined 2 million yuan (US$244,000) each.

According to the court, from 2000 to 2002, the gang obtained visas for 51 Chinese citizens by making fake residential registrations, invitation letters and official dispatching certificates. Among the stowaways, three came back later, nine failed to cross the border, 11 were sent back by Japanese authorities and 28 are still staying in Japan.

His wife Yang Liping and brother Dong Jun helped him buy flight tickets, make fake application materials and hide trafficking earning.

The court rejected the gang's appeal and maintained the verdicts which were handed down by the Shanghai Intermediate People's court at an earlier date.

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