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Oil-theft pair ask for shorter sentences

TWO men who conspired to embezzle 500,000 yuan (US$73,000) worth of oil from a branch of China Petroleum and Chemical Corp appealed against their sentences yesterday.

Sun Zixing, the owner of an oil tanker, and Wang Hou°?qing, a worker at the Shanghai Gaoqiao branch of Sinopec, said they played minor roles in the case and should have their sentences reduced.

The Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court didn't announce a verdict after the hearing.

Sun, 36, a Zhejiang Province native, was sentenced to three and a half years for embezzlement and Wang, a 34-year-old Anhui Province native, was given a sentence of three years by the Hongkou District People's Court after their initial trial.

Seven people were involved in the theft, including five employees of the Gaoqiao branch of Sinopec.

In August last year, Chen Qing, a Sinopec employee in charge of oil-tanker management, discussed stealing fuel with Wang. Chen had the key to an oil tanker.

The tanker contained 58 tons of jet fuel belonging to Shanghai Pudong International Airport Aviation Fuel Co Ltd.

Wang contacted Wu Fangda, his colleague, and Cai Yuqin, a friend in an oil transportation company. Cai ask Sun, who owned an oil tanker, to transport the fuel. Yu Nengxiang and Ni Weixin, both Sinopec employees, were also recruited.

On the night of September 4, 2008, when Chen was on duty, the men siphoned the oil out of the tanker through a pipeline to Sun's tanker.

Sun sold the oil to Lu °?Yuanlin, a gas station owner in Wujiang City, Jiangsu Province, for 377,000 yuan the next day.


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