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Life sentence given to thieving space official

A HIGH-ranking space industry official who gambled up to 2 million yuan (US$293,140) a night in Hong Kong and Macau has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court sentenced Wang Daqing, the former assistant to the general manager of the China Spaceflight Industry General Co, to life imprisonment for embezzlement and misuse of public funds worth more than 9.72 million yuan, The Beijing News reported yesterday.

Wang flew from Beijing to Hong Kong or Macau 17 times from 2000 to 2003. Wang played big and could lose 2 million yuan a night, a fellow gambler surnamed Chen said.

One of Wang's employees said he managed two branch companies for the China Spaceflight Industry General Co but he never submitted balance sheets or profits to headquarters.

Wang ordered employees to hand over checks to a woman surnamed Ma in Shenzhen in Guangdong Province. Ma would then send the money to Hong Kong or Macau for gambling, mostly at the Hotel Lisboa in Macau, using her own accounts with underground banks.


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