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January 9, 2010

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Prison for two who sold mail

TWO property company employees who kept residents' mail and sold it as waste paper to earn extra money were jailed for three months at Zhabei District People's Court yesterday.

When police caught them they still had more than 600 items in their possession. They couldn't remember how many they had sold.

They told the court they had sold the mail to a reclamation station for 0.6 yuan (9 US cents) a kilogram and earned just over 40 yuan.

Shi Cunyun, 51, and Lu Xiuhua, 50, both local women, were hired by a property company to operate the lifts in a building at the Yuexiu Garden residential community. They were also in charge of distributing mail.

They were paid around 1,000 yuan a month and to earn extra money came up with the idea of selling the mail because quite a lot of it was commercial catalogues, the court heard.

Between March and September 2009, they hid the mail in their workrooms after it had been delivered.

When they had gathered enough they took it to the reclamation station, the court heard.

Some residents who hadn't received mail for some time became suspicious and, after they learned that all the other residents in the building were affected, contacted the police.

The two women confessed to keeping the mail but told the court that they didn't know it was a crime.

Under Chinese law, anyone who hides, destroys or opens mail meant for someone else faces a maximum sentence of a year in jail.


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