Report by JENIFERLAMUG
"No matter how powerful and cunning criminals are, once they commit crimes in China, they will be punished according to law. The authority of Chinese laws and judicial sovereignty of China shall not be undermined and justice will be done."-Chinese official
A Chinese tycoon was sentenced to life imprisonment for smuggling, bribery and monumental profligacy on Friday. The notorious kingpin is known for his role in what was described as modern China’s biggest corruption scandal, according to ChinaDaily.com.
Lai Changxing, 53, is a syndicate mastermind reportedly having smuggling ring here in Hong Kong and Xiamen since 1991. The state-run news agency said Mr. Lai smuggled goods and commodities worth of billions of dollars from 1995 to 1999 and evaded tax worth of 13.999 billion yuan. He also bribed some government officials for millions of yuans to help him facilitate transactions.
Though Lai is said to be an illiterate peasant as he received almost no formal education, he simply has a “green hand” that made him a billionaire. He started business making simple car parts, which eventually turned into an empire. He became China’s biggest private car importer. He also ran a successful TV business and founded the famous Yuanha Group.
Lai has some common nicknames as "Gentleman thief," "Bandit King," "Fat Lai," and "Fatty Lai" for his generosity to the poor. He often handed money taken from the government.
The syndicate mastermind escaped the Chinese authorities in mid-1999 and fled to Canada but was repatriated back to China on July 2011.
The Intermediate People’s Court in Xiamen handed verdict to Lai, which include a lifetime deprivation of his political rights. His personal assets and illegal income would also be confiscated.
For more of Lai’s early years, illegal businesses, charges and crime, click here.