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February 6, 2013

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Conman fails in bid for lenient jail term

A recidivist who was sentenced to 11 years in jail in July for stealing an ivory craft worth 250,000 yuan (US$40,105), withdrew his appeal yesterday and pleaded guilty at an intermediate court.

Zhang Wei had appealed that his crime was one of fraud rather than theft in the hope of wining a lenient sentence.

The punishment for fraud is less than 10 years in jail, prosecutors from the No. 2 Branch of Shanghai People's Procuratorate said yesterday.

The prosecutors said Zhang, 55, was a serial offender and had been jailed for theft four times before. He was released from jail in March 2009.

In the latest case, Zhang eyed an elaborately carved ivory craft on sale at a consignment store in downtown Sichuan Road M. Zhang rode his moped to the store on October 2011 and bargained to buy the ivory craft at 120,000 yuan on the condition that he paid for it in cash.

Zhang said he did not carry so much cash with him and asked one of the shop assistants to accompany him home to collect the money, the court heard.

The shop assistant packed the ivory craft, got on the moped, and put the package on the footboard of the bike.

When they arrived at the gate of a complex, Zhang asked the assistant to get off and wait as he wanted to park the moped.

After the assistant got down at the gate, he vanished with the ivory product.

After waiting for 10 minutes, the shop assistant realized she was duped. The security guard also told her that Zhang was not a resident of the complex.

She reported to the police.


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