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Lai Changxing granted work permit in Canada

Nearly a decade after fleeing China in the face of smuggling and corruption charges, Lai Changxing continues to surface in the media every time there's another twist to his marathon legal battle in Canada.

Several of today's newspapers, including the New Culture View, reported that Lai was recently granted a temporary work permit by Canadian immigration authorities.

The move may inflame the lingering anger of some in China who believe that Canada is sheltering the fugitive from receiving the punishment he deserves. Canada has hesitated to extradite Lai to China for fear that he would be executed; the newspaper's article, which is a republication of a Global Times summary of Canadian media reports, does not mention the death sentence issue.

Lai is regard as one of the World's most wanted white-collar fugitives.

There are many other fugitives stay in Canada such as Gao Shan.

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Edited by bjre
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The guy is a criminal, what makes you think he is going to stop being one just because he lives here?

What makes you think he is a criminal , and on top of that, what is there to believe the Chinese word amounts to much?

My understanding of the man is that he is alledged to have done this, but it also alleged that he secretly moved war equipment for the same people who want to try him (China govt)

He is accused of smuggling, not exactly a day to day worry for the average canuck.Besides, maybe our port authorities will catch him if he tries smuggling here.

Aint no saint, but neither is the Chinese govt.

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I will never forget the "crimminal" I met at the court of appeal - They were going to extradite him...yet he had not been formally charged state side nor had he been so much as reprimanded for bad behaviour here. It was actually some crimminals in America who had a lot of power who wanted his ass - to shut him up - and our boys complied. So who is the real crimminal? Like I have always said - if two clans are feuding and one clan subjugates the other one - the winning team becomes the establishement and the losers are deamed crimminals - that's the way it is all over the world - yet not one is not guilty of sinisterism.

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Five fugitives hiding in Canada, China says


BEIJING -- A bank manager who allegedly stole $150-million from his customers is just one name on a list of at least five fugitives China is demanding be extradited from Canada, published reports say.

The existence of four other criminal suspects on the list is the latest development in a growing controversy over whether Canada is sheltering Chinese fugitives.

Chinese and Canadian authorities are refusing to confirm the existence of the list. But the Chinese media are giving heavy coverage to the issue, creating an impression that Canada is providing a haven to suspects fleeing China.

China's state-controlled news agency has already confirmed that Beijing is asking Canada for the extradition of Gao Shan, former manager of a Bank of China branch in northeastern China, who is accused of embezzling $150-million from the accounts of his customers.

Mr. Gao, who fled to Canada in early 2005, is under RCMP surveillance somewhere in Western Canada, according to Chinese reports. One of his associates, Li Dongzhe, is also reportedly under police surveillance in Canada. But two years after allegedly transferring his stolen money to Canada and disappearing from Chinese territory, Mr. Gao is still not in police custody, sources say.

Two Chinese newspapers have reported that Canada dispatched police investigators to China last month to gather evidence in the Gao case. The Canadian police interviewed a Chinese businessman, Zhang Xiaoguang, whose company had about $45-million stolen from its bank account.

Spokesmen for the RCMP and the Canadian embassy in Beijing will not confirm any details of the extradition requests. The identities of the four other fugitives on the Chinese list are unknown.

The Chinese reports gave new details of how Mr. Gao plotted his escape to Canada after embezzling the funds. His last appearance at the bank was on Dec. 29, 2004, when he told colleagues that he planned to visit a doctor in Beijing. He also claimed his wife was studying for a graduate degree in psychology at a Beijing university. In reality, his wife and son were already living in Canada, and Mr. Gao never intended to visit a doctor in Beijing. Instead, he flew secretly to Canada to join his family.

Meanwhile, concern is mounting in China about both white-collar fugitives and alleged corrupt government officials who have found shelter in Canada in recent years.

The most famous of the these is Lai Changxing, the alleged ringleader of a smuggling organization that evaded billions of dollars in taxes. He is regarded as China's most-wanted fugitive.

He fled to Canada in 1999, sought refugee status, and has been fighting extradition ever since. The Lai case has damaged relations between Canada and China, with Chinese authorities increasingly angry and convinced that Canada should do more to deport him.

Canada and China do not have an extradition treaty -- mainly because of China's poor human-rights record and its history of executing thousands of people every year. In individual cases, Canada can agree to deport a suspect to China, but negotiations can be difficult.



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Canada's Extradition Laws Help Make Vancouver a Grifter's Haven

By Doug Struck

Washington Post Foreign Service

Thursday, March 22, 2007; Page A15

The Washington Post - The Chinese government has been trying to get Lai Changxing for seven years, repeatedly demanding that Canada hand over the man who tops China’s most-wanted list.

Lai does not want to go. The once-rich businessman, alleged by China to have run a vast bribery and smuggling empire, is unsure what would happen if he returned. “I don’t know if I will be dragged around and shot, or beaten, or poisoned,” he mused in an interview.

So while lawyers argue his case, Lai stays, biding time in a Vancouver apartment. He has company: The city is home to a wide cast of people who are either wanted by the law somewhere on white-collar charges or trying hard to avoid such attention.

Vancouver prefers to revel in politically correct politics, a squeaky-clean environmental image, and a laid-back mood fostered by persistent melancholy rain. But it also is a haven for some of the most wanted fugitives in the world and for con men working scams in the shadow of the law.

“Grifters tend to gravitate to the end of the line. Vancouver is kind of the end of the line,” said David Baines, a veteran reporter for the Vancouver Sun who writes about stock schemes and white-collar crooks in this westernmost province.

Eight years ago, Forbes magazine described Vancouver as the “scam capital of the world.” Authorities have cleaned up some of that and closed the largely unregulated Vancouver Stock Exchange, which did a Wild West trade in problem stocks. But Baines said the legacy remains.

“There was a cadre of facilitators — accountants, lawyers, brokers — that someone has called an ‘infrastructure of chicanery.’ It remains,” Baines said.

Much of this centers on penny stocks, often worthless financial paper traded on the U.S. over-the-counter market. These stocks are sold by salesmen in high-pressure boiler-room telephone or Internet solicitations.

When the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced “Operation Spamalot” this month, stopping trading of 35 companies at the center of spam e-mail promotions, one-third of them had connections to British Columbia, the province where Vancouver is located.

Authorities here estimate that 500 of approximately 4,000 companies traded on the U.S. over-the-counter bulletin board and another penny stock listing service called the “Pink Sheets” can be traced back to Vancouver and British Columbia. The companies variously claim to have huge car inventories, hot mining prospects, technological breakthroughs, medical miracles, valuable real estate and other exciting assets, which often are inflated in value or nonexistent.

Their promoters operate here in part to take advantage of the border, said Martin Eady, director of corporate finance for the British Columbia Securities Commission. Canadian regulators rarely get complaints from victims, because most of them are in the United States. And U.S. regulators are wary of trying to crack down on companies based in Canada.

“It becomes inherently more difficult to investigate and to prosecute when it is cross-border,” Eady said. “It lengthens everything by a factor of at least 100 percent.”

Though the scams are often small-scale, they can give Vancouver a bad reputation for all business dealings, he said. “These perpetrators should not feel they can reside in one place, victimize people in other places, and get away with it.”

But they do. The gathering of suspect characters in Vancouver is encouraged by Canada’s lengthy legal procedures concerning deportation, which can forestall expulsion for years.

Lawyer Gary Botting, author of two textbooks on extradition, said Canada’s lengthy process is intended to ensure that people are not sent to sham trials, execution or torture. He defends the system, but acknowledges that wealthy fugitives can delay their expulsion for long periods through exhaustive appeals.

“There’s a lot of money involved in the high-profile cases,” he said. “There’s definitely a different system for the rich who can afford counsel to explore every loophole.”

Lai, for example, chose to flee to Vancouver when he heard that Chinese prosecutors were about to swoop down on him and his family in 1999. Chinese authorities say he ran an expansive smuggling operation generating many millions of dollars and bribed local officials in Xiamen, in the southeastern province of Fujian.

A special prosecuting unit in China has obtained 14 convictions and death sentences concerning the alleged scheme, eight of which have been carried out. Lai’s brother died in a Chinese prison after Chinese agents had brought him to Vancouver in an unsuccessful bid to lure Lai back to China.

Lai’s continued presence has been uncomfortable for the Canadian government, which wants improved trading relations with China. The government there regularly demands his return, along with several other Chinese fugitives, bank officials who also fled to Vancouver. China has pledged not to impose the death penalty on Lai, but his attorney, David Matas, said Canada should not trust promises from a country where legal safeguards are absent.

“The problem here is not the Canadian system. It’s the Chinese system. If they were not torturing people and executing people, he’d be back in a shot,” Matas said.

Lai, 48, listened through an interpreter. He said he is living off the contributions of friends and has lost all of the riches he once enjoyed. But he acknowledged that the laws here have let him avoid a forced return to China.

In coming to Vancouver, he said, “I think I made the right choice.”



Edited by bjre
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No NO NO! You can not send a person back to be tried by any group or government that is corrupt or has a histroy of human rights abuses - Just because the government of the day is "offical" does not make it legal or moral. No one should be sent to China to suffer the torments inflicted by this barbaric ultitarian machine..run by monsters - NOR should we send war resisters back to America - Why would we deny safe haven to a person who resisted the will of Rove - Cheney and Bush etc.? Just because someone is holding the offical gun to your head is no reason to submit...sometimes you have to call their bluff - at least make an attempt to hold the higher moral ground - but no - we like little rats submit because we only think of our personal financial and careerist lives.

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Yep, we're a safe haven all right. Sooner or later we're going to get our butts blown off , ala 9/11, by being one.

The Cons are almost as bad as the Libs with this immigration fiasco.

Kenney just said theywill allow 265K more of them in this year. Multitudes are being laid off, our work is being sent offshore, we're in a recession and another 265K?????

Do away with dual citizenship, and bring down immigration to a trickle, do it today.

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Kenney just said theywill allow 265K more of them in this year. Multitudes are being laid off, our work is being sent offshore, we're in a recession and another 265K?????

Do away with dual citizenship, and bring down immigration to a trickle, do it today.

265,000 more? I remember the argument for increased immigration was a shortage of workers. However, with mass layoffs here what can we offer newcomers? Not jobs.

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