Cana­dian gets death sen­tence in drug case

China Daily - - TOP NEWS - By CAO YIN [email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

Cana­dian cit­i­zen Robert Lloyd Schel­len­berg was sen­tenced to death for smug­gling more than 222 kilo­grams of drugs by Dalian In­ter­me­di­ate Peo­ple’s Court on Mon­day in a re­trial after he sought an ap­peal of the ini­tial trial’s rul­ing.

The same court had pre­vi­ously sen­tenced him to 15 years in prison.

In the re­trial, the court in Liaon­ing prov­ince also or­dered his prop­erty and as­sets seized.

The court af­firmed in the re­trial that Schel­len­berg par­tic­i­pated in or­ga­nized transna­tional drug smug­gling and was the ring­leader in a metham­phetamine traf­fick­ing case in 2014.

A court re­lease named three oth­ers as im­por­tant fig­ures in the drug smug­gling ring: Stephen, Kem and Mr Zhou (trans­lated from the Chi­nese re­lease). China Daily could not ver­ify their English names by press time.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, in Oc­to­ber 2014, Kem asked a man in Dalian sur­named Xu, who was hired as a trans­la­tor, to rent a ware­house and pur­chase tires in Dalian and to re­ceive 222 pack­ages of metham­phetamine that Mr Zhou and an­other man named Jian Xian­grong smug­gled from Guang­dong prov­ince to Dalian.

On Nov 19, 2014, Kem asked Schel­len­berg to meet with Xu in Dalian, try to stuff the drugs into the tires and smug­gle them into Aus­tralia. Schel­len­berg asked Xu to take him to pur­chase tools and re­quired Xu to or­der tires. Later he changed the ship­ment date from Novem­ber to De­cem­ber.

On Dec 27, Schel­len­berg called an­other man named Mai Qingx­i­ang, ask­ing him to find an­other ware­house to store the drugs. Two days later, Xu called the po­lice.

Re­al­iz­ing he had been ex­posed, Schel­len­berg tried to fly to Thai­land from the Dalian air­port. The flight had a stopover in Guangzhou, where he was taken into cus­tody by po­lice, ac­cord­ing to the court re­lease.

Dalian po­lice seized the 222 pack­ages con­tain­ing 222.03 kilo­grams of metham­phetamine.

In an ear­lier trial, Jian had been sen­tenced to life im­pris­on­ment for hold­ing and trans­port­ing drugs, and Mai re­ceived a sus­pended death sen­tence for trans­port­ing drugs, the court said.

The other three sus­pects in the transna­tional drug smug­gling group re­main at large.

The court said Schel­len­berg should be con­sid­ered the ring­leader, as he fully took part in the crime and was a key part of the case.

“The con­vic­tion and death penalty of the de­fen­dant were based on clear facts and suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence,” the court said.

Un­der China’s Crim­i­nal Law, peo­ple who smug­gle, sell, trans­port or pro­duce il­le­gal drugs in China can be sen­tenced to death if they par­tic­i­pate in or­ga­nized in­ter­na­tional drug smug­gling or, as in this case, the amount of metham­phetamine is over 50 grams.

Schel­len­berg can ap­peal the rul­ing within 10 days to the Liaon­ing High Peo­ple’s Court.

In China, all death sen­tences must re­ceive a fi­nal re­view from the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court.

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