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18 human smugglers get jail terms

EIGHTEEN members of a people smuggling gang, including 12 Beijing airport workers, were sentenced to up to 15 years imprisonment on Wednesday.

Court officials said the gang had attempted to smuggle 26 people on eight separate occasions from February 2006 to December 2007, yesterday's Caijing Magazine reported.

Thirteen people had got to Canada but some attempts failed. The operation was uncovered when four would-be emigrants from east China's Fujian Province were detected on a flight to Vancouver in November 2007.

The four told police they each paid 500,000 yuan (US$73,000) to the gang.

At Beijing airport would-be emigrants rode Air China cargo vehicles to the plane, where they would get a boarding pass from a foreigner hired by the gang who had already been through customs. The foreigners were then transported back to the terminal.

The Beijing Intermediate People's Court sentenced the gang's mastermind, Lu Jianming, to 15 years in jail and imposed 14-year terms on two airport workers, Zhou Zhuang, who was with the Beijing General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection, and Liu Haibing, a security guard.


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