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Man executed for drowning debtor

By Xu Wei | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-16 07:45

A man who was convicted of illegally detaining and killing his debtor by putting the victim in an iron cage and throwing him into a lake was executed on Tuesday.

The Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court in Zhejiang province ordered the execution of Hu Fangquan after his death sentence was approved by the Supreme People's Court, the Hangzhou court said in a statement published online.

Hu, a native of Wenzhou in Zhejiang, was found by the court to have forcibly taken Zhang Hong, a businessman from the Inner Mongolia autonomous region who owed Hu at least 10 million yuan ($1.44 million), from a hotel in Hangzhou with the help of several other accomplices on June 10, 2012.

Zhang was then illegally imprisoned by Hu as the latter called Zhang's family asking for a ransom of 50 million yuan.

Hu instructed his accomplices to imprison Zhang, with the place of detention continually changing for more than 80 days to dodge a police manhunt.

Hu later obtained 6.2 million yuan from Zhang's family members.

The court said Hu, with the help of two other accomplices, Zhang Chongxuan and Jin Chaoguo, put Zhang Hong into a cage and pushed the cage off a bridge into the Tankeng Reservoir, which is located in Zhejiang's Lishui.

Hu was detained by Hangzhou police in a hotel in Thailand in 2013. The police later detained another 13 people who were involved in the case.

It took the police four search attempts over a period of almost a year to locate the cage under water, which was finally found on Dec 28, 2014. DNA tests showed the body inside the cage was that of Zhang Hong.

In its verdict, delivered on March 16, 2015, the court said that Hu showed no remorse by refusing to admit to his crime.

Zhang Chongxuan and Jin were given the death sentence with a two-year reprieve and life imprisonment respectively.

Another seven of Hu's accomplices in the case were given prison terms ranging from one year and nine months to three and a half years.

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