4 people were sentenced to death today in China for killing 3 mine workers and faking accidents at coal mines to claim compensation.
Wu Youxin, Chen Xiaoxin, Liu Quanyou and Liu Xianggang were suspected of killing 3 people between 2009 and 2011 in private coal mines with sticks or hammers, the Intermediate People's Court of Yangquan City said.
According to the court, they then asked Wu's wife and sister or hired others to pose as relatives of the victims and demand compensation, cheating mine owners of more than 890,000 yuan, state run Xinhua news agency reported today.
Wu, who masterminded the scheme, was fined 80,000 yuan and sentenced to death.
Chen, Liu Quanyou and Liu Xianggang, who committed the murders along with Wu, also received death penalty.
Wu was blackmailing a disabled man who accidentally drowned in an underground pit.
Xiong Zijin, who also stood trial, claimed to be the man's brother and blackmailed the mine owner for 165,000 yuan.
Xiong split the money with the other 4 suspects soon after. Xiong was fined 120,000 yuan and sentenced to prison for 7 years for fraud and blackmail.
All the defendants have appealed. The crimes, which resemble the plot of the award-winning movie "Blind Shaft," is not the 1st such case in China.
In July, a court in north China upheld the death sentence for 5 people who killed 4 miners and faked accidents at coal mines to claim compensation
Source: Press Trust of India, December 3, 2015