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Worker who found gold wins support

AN airport cleaner has won wide support among Netizens after it was revealed she faces criminal charges and possibly life imprisonment for picking up a box containing 14 kilograms of gold jewelry worth an estimated 3 million yuan (US$439,700) at Shenzhen Baoan Airport, Guangdong Province.

Liang Li picked up a heavy box mislaid on a luggage cart at about 9am on December 9, Guangzhou Daily reported on Monday.

She put the box in an airport toilet for physically challenged people and told her colleagues about her find. Liang also said she would return it to its owner if anyone came forward to claim it.

However, two of her colleagues, who were identified as Cao and Ma, discovered the box was full of packets of gold jewelry and each took a packet home.

Liang, 40, later learnt what happened and took the rest of the jewelry home when she got off work at noon.

The owner, a jewelry company clerk, had called the police at about 9am the same day after losing the box. He said he'd left the luggage cart about 20 meters away while he went to ask airport staff about transporting expensive items.

Plain-clothed airport police officers seized the jewelry from Liang's home as well from Cao and Ma later that day.

Shenzhen police referred Liang's case to Shenzhen People's Procuratorate, accusing her of theft. The charge was not accepted but they asked for a supplementary investigation by prosecutors.

Liang has been held in a detention house for over five months and was reported to be in an unstable mood.

Liang's story found its way to domestic Web portals such as Many Websites conducted online surveys and more than 600,000 Netizens had voted by 5pm on Monday, with 90 percent of them saying Liang was not a thief.

Some also questioned the jewelry company clerk for leaving the box unattended.

Those convicted of theft in China face up to five years in prison, but those found to have stolen very valuable items or large sums can face life imprisonment or even the death penalty.

Some Netizens thought Liang was guilty as she took the box home after discovering what was inside.


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