News/UK: IMMIGRANT EXTORTION GANG JAILED.

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Subject: News/UK: IMMIGRANT EXTORTION GANG JAILED.
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Wed Nov 03 1999 - 23:08:32 EST


10-28-99 UK: IMMIGRANT EXTORTION GANG JAILED.
Four members of a Chinese Snakehead gang were jailed at the Old Bailey
yesterday for taking part in an illegal immigrant extortion racket in which
victims were imprisoned and beaten until their relatives in China paid
ransom demands.
The four were part of `organised extortion on an international scale', said
Judge Graham Boal. Those behind the plot were still in China or Thailand.
`It is the duty of the courts of this country to pass sentences designed to
deter others from plying this wicked trade here.'
The four, convicted of conspiring to commit false imprisonment and
blackmail, are Cheng Chen, 25, Ling Li, 22, Zhong Tang, 29, and Lin Wang,
31, all from Hendon, north-west London.
Chen, described as the British boss, was jailed for 14 years; Li, chief
enforcer and `bully boy', for 13 years; Tang, a guard and `willing
tormentor', for 11 years; and Wang, an interpreter, for seven years. All
had entered the country illegally and face deportation at the end of their
terms. Judge Boal said: `You represent a potential detriment to the UK if
you remain This was a trade in human misery.'
The victims had paid up to $30,000 ( #18,181) to be brought to Britain,
where they hoped to make a new life. Instead they were kept prisoner.
Relatives were asked for $15,000 ransom and `fined' $300 a day if they
failed to pay in three days.
One captive, known as Jumping He, leapt from a window over a shop. He was
found by police, whose investigation took officers to Fujian province in
China to interview victims' families.
Police estimate that 500 immigrants were exploited by the gang over two
years.
GUARDIAN 28/10/1999 P11

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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