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December 12, 2011

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Kidnap gang murderers receive death sentences

THREE members of a gang who kidnapped, robbed and murdered a resident from a high-end city community have received death sentences.

Ma Song, Gao Teng and Cai Xiang were sentenced to death, with Cai given a two-year reprieve, the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court said yesterday.

The fourth member of the gang, He Liang, was jailed for 20 years.

They were also told to pay more than 720,000 yuan (US$113,633) compensation to the victim's family.

At the trial, it emerged that the gang had earlier plotted to kidnap and hold for ransom an expat's child.

The court heard that Ma and He attacked Yu Jun on September 15 last year while he was taking an after-supper stroll at Biyun community in Pudong's Jinqiao area.

Ma told the court they pushed him to the ground, bound his hands and feet and put tape over his mouth.

They took 1,000 yuan from Yu and drove him in his own Audi to near Pudong International Airport, where they met up with the rest of the gang. Putting Yu in their vehicle, the gang headed toward Zhapu Town, a port on the northern shore of Hangzhou Bay in Zhejiang Province.

Ma said they decided to kill Yu as they could get no more money from him and feared he could identify him.

Yu was strangled with a towel and his body dumped in the Qiantang River in Hangzhou City.

The gang was apprehended after Yu's wife reported him missing.

Gao, a 30-year-old real estate agent, also confessed he persuaded Cai, Ma and He to help him kidnap the son of a South African client last year and ransom the child for US$2 million, in a bid to clear debts.

In preparation, Gao said they bought stun guns, tape, suitcases and other items and rented an apartment in which to hide the child. But two attempts at the kidnapping, in June and September 2010, failed and the gang abandoned that plan.


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