By Yining Su
Image credit: @shyb.
Five people from Fujian have received prison sentences ranging from 19 months to 10 years for smuggling 33 people to the United States.
According to the Shanghai Daily, the group taught people how to sneak onto unused staff-only areas of aeroplanes “using keys, screwdrivers and lubricants” and stowaway.
Typically, the smugglers’ clients would first travel from China to another country, such as the Philippines, then sneak onto US-bound planes.
The group operated between March 2009 and June 2011 and charged $80,000 for each person they smuggled into the US.
The smugglers were led by 58 year old Shao Zhihua, a naturalized US citizen.
All five convicted smugglers were from “the east Fujian Province”. Although Shanghai Daily article does not specify which region of Fujian the smugglers were from, the area around the city of Changle, near Fuzhou, is well-known as the place of origin for a huge number of illegal immigrants from China to the US in the 1980s and 1990s.
The specific sentences each member of the smuggling gang received have not been made public.