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November 17, 2011

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Debt-ridden man held over lavish spending

A MAN who embarked on lavish spending sprees while ignoring a court order to pay back debts of millions of yuan was detained yesterday.

Xu Changbiao, a 48-year-old businessman, was given 15 days' judicial detention by Huangpu District People's Court for not complying with the court's July 2010 order to repay 8 million yuan (US$1.26 million).

The court said Xu failed to pay his debts in the period ruled.

Instead, Xu and his wife spent almost 640,000 yuan on shopping, traveling and other entertainment activities between March and July this year.

An investigation by the court found the couple had 32 credit cards, which they used 168 times on six trips during the five months.

In court, Xu claimed it was mostly his wife and her sister who used the cards for shopping.

The investigation also discovered that Xu had flown from Shanghai to Huangyan, Zhejiang Province, on three occasions.

The court said that Xu was not permitted to take flights - considered a high-cost mode of transport - before he had paid off his debts.

In court, Xu claimed the air tickets were gifts from friends.

The court ruled that Xu was capable of paying his debts and ordered him to clear them within a specified period following his detention.

Since 2008, 21 people have received prison sentences for refusing to pay debts and 2,047 debtors were given judicial detention, said Yu Zhiqiang, an official from the Shanghai Higher People's Court.

Meanwhile, a man who went on the run for eight years after selling his company's machinery that had been seized by the courts over debts was jailed for six months by Jinshan District People's Court yesterday.


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