Former lawmaker sentenced for involvement in prostitution ring, bribery

Former deputy to the National People's Congress sentenced after a two year long trial.

Liang Yaohui, left, former chairman of Crown Prince Hotel, and other suspects charged for organizing prostitution are sent by police to stand trial at the Dongguan Intermediate People's Court in Dongguan city, south China's Guangdong province, 27 May 2015.

A former lawmaker from the southern city of Dongguan in Guangdong Province was sentenced to life imprisonment for organizing prostitution, bid rigging and bribery, Dongguan Intermediate People’s Court announced after a trial lasting more than two years.

The personal assets of Liang Yaohui, former deputy to the National People’s Congress and owner of the five-star Crown Prince Hotel, will be confiscated, reported today, citing Liang’s attorney.

Another 46 hotel employees have been found guilty of organizing prostitution, facilitating prostitution or destroying evidence and put behind bars for at least one year and four months, except for three who received suspended jail terms, the court said.

The court heard that the hotel’s sauna center made about 49 million yuan (US$7.3 million) in profit in 2013 from organizing prostitution that included underage prostitutes.

Prosecutors said that two truckloads of vouchers and receipts had been destroyed following media exposure of the sex trade.

In February 2014, a CCTV undercover report alleged that Liang’s hotel was involved in the sex trade together with other hotels and entertainment venues in Dongguan, calling prostitution in the area "rampant".

It said the highly visible trade in sex included beauty contests where prostitutes wearing number tags paraded in front of prospective clients.

Liang was elected a deputy to the 11th Guangdong Provincial People's Congress in 2008 and a deputy to the 12th National People’s Congress in 2012. He was named the Top 10 philanthropist in Dongguan.

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