Sentencing for trio of human smugglers

Three men have been sentenced for arranging illegal entry of Chinese laborers into Japan via Shanghai's cruise port in Baoshan District, according to district prosecutors.

Three men have been sentenced for arranging illegal entry of Chinese laborers into Japan via Shanghai’s cruise port in Baoshan District, according to district prosecutors.

The men, who were based in east China’s Shandong Province, opened a labor agency and posted online ads promising labor jobs with hefty pay, prosecutors said. They also fabricated employment certifications needed by their clients to obtain Japanese visas.

They charged the laborers up to 50,000 yuan (US$7,390) each, prosecutors said.

In August 2016, they helped three Chinese nationals — surnamed Li, Zhang and Su — obtain travel visas to Japan. The three were also booked on a group tour of Japan via the liner Costa Fortuna, which was departing the port in Baoshan. They were also coached on how to pass through Japanese immigration and “escape” the tour after entering Japan.

Li and Zhang were smuggled into Japan in October 2016. Su opted to travel to Japan in December 2016 with another would-be illegal migrant, but the pair were intercepted by border officials in Shanghai.

Based on clues from Su and his companion, police tracked down the smuggling group’s apparent ringleader, surnamed Shi, and one of his two accomplices. That same month, Li and Zhang were repatriated back to China.

The remaining member of the smuggling network handed himself over to police in March 2017.

Convicted of organizing illegal border crossing, Shi was sentenced to two and a half months behind bars. The other two were sentenced to two years, with a two-year reprieve, and six months, respectively.


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