Remember that really outrageous one million RMB gold heist that happened during the expo last year? Neither do we. Nevertheless, officials have reported today about the successful trials of the three convicted “gold raiders”. We got ‘em!
According to Global Times, on September 8th 2010
“Armed with what were later found to be fake guns, the three men stormed an E-Mart on Lianhua Road South last year, during the second-last month of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, when the city was on high security alert.
They flung homemade bombs in the store to disperse crowds, which allowed them to break into the jewelry counter, where they bagged 3 kilograms of gold jewelry. No one was injured, but the men escaped before police arrived at the scene”
Not too soon afterward, accomplice member Zhang Bin surrendered his share of the gold to police. The other two men, including heist leader Zhang Degang, were also quickly apprehended, but their share of the gold remained controversially “missing”. It has yet to be found.
Zhang Degang apparently worked as a security guard at the jewelry market on south Lianhua Road in Minhang District and therefore knew the complexes’ layout and security patrol times.
After a speedy (some say rushed) trial Thursday, Shanghai’s No.1 Intermediate People’s Court announced that two out of the three men would receive the death penalty while the other group member would receive a lifetime imprisonment.
In accordance with the Chinese government’s recent issuance of reformed death penalty guidelines, the second group member receiving the death penalty was given a two year reprieve.
Criminal lawyers have since declared these sentences unwarranted and “out of the ordinary”. But as criminal law specialist Wu Di put it “It appears the court wants to deter people from repeating such a crime.”
By Patrick Keefe