Chinese court upholds death penalty for 5 in mine murders

Chinese court upholds death penalty for 5 in mine murders

BEIJING (AP) — A court in eastern China upheld death sentences for five people who conspired to kill miners in what they claimed were mine accidents & then posed as relatives to claim $300,000 in compensation, state media reported Saturday.

The Hebei Higher People's Court delivered the verdict Friday for five defendants who were convicted in August 2014. They were among a group of 21 people in the scheme, which targeted migrant workers & took advantage of lax safety & loose regulation of mines.

Members of the group first hatched the plan in July 2011 when they met a migrant worker from southern China who came to Hebei seeking employment, the China News Service said in a report

p>Fellow miners killed him while he worked underground at an iron mine in October of that year & then reported a cave-in. Two members of the group posed as his widow & surviving son, in order to claim approximately $100,000 in compensation.

The group continued the pattern in three other murders through February 2012 until staff at one of the mines became suspicious & reported the incident to police, the report said.

In all, the group had claimed approximately $300,000 in compensation. The report gave no details of how the murders were carried out or how they were made to look like mine accidents.

Source: “Associated Press”