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Murder in the mines exposed

[ 2009-12-28 13:53]     字号 [] [] []  
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In the 2003 movie Blind Shaft, two criminals cajole migrant workers into getting jobs in mines and then kill them to claim compensation.

It may be fiction, but the story is not far from the reality of a case uncovered in Hubei province.

When a miner called "Huang Suoge" from Leibo county of Sichuan province died in Daye on Nov 23, people claiming to be his relatives demanded 200,000 yuan ($29,000) in compensation.

However, the claimants quickly fled after police in Leibo revealed the real Huang Suoge committed suicide two years ago, local media reported yesterday.

The scam is one of 17 cases reported since 2007 in the country's nine provinces, including Yunnan, Liaoning and Hubei.

Many of the suspects also come from Leibo, county police said.

The first case happened in Fujian province, where criminals are said to have lured local residents into mines and then killed them, just like how it was carried out in the movie Blind Shaft.

"All cases have something in common, which is that the victims were unidentified and suffered from a mental disability," a police officer in Leibo was quoted as saying by Chutian Metropolis Daily yesterday.

The Ministry of Public Security held a special conference in Fujian last April to work out a comprehensive plan to tackle the crimes but they continue to occur, the newspaper reported.

In Leibo, many people with mental health problems are being tricked and then traded illegally like private property, local sources said.

"Some of them are sold to local residents whose families are shorthanded, and a number of others are forced to work in mines or on construction sites and then killed so people can in turn demand compensation from their bosses," a local guide called Aguo said.

Police said that the person named Huang Suoge who died in Daye was living under a false identity. No suspect has yet been arrested.

"The mine bosses called the Leibo county police for Huang's information when he died and I told them it was very likely a fraud case that involved murder.

"However, they did not report the matter to police in Daye in time," a Leibo county officer who asked to remain anonymous told China Daily yesterday.

"Mines should check workers' identities carefully, as should any other workplace that has a great demand for fluid labor, so we limit the chances of these crimes."

The authorities have sent a Daye police team to Leibo to further investigate the criminal activities, he said.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Murder in the mines exposed

About the broadcaster:

Murder in the mines exposed

Dan Chinoy is a reporter and editor for the China Daily's website. A graduate of Columbia University, he grew up in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Dan has experience in Hillary Clinton's Senate Office in Washington, and Fortune Magazine in Beijing, the U.S. Consulate in Shenyang. Dan speaks Chinese, but not as well as he should.