Leading Chinese comedian arrested with loaded gun and crack in New York

Zhou Libo was pulled over for talking on his mobile phone while driving early one morning last week in Long Island

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 January, 2017, 10:58pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 January, 2017, 10:59pm

One of the China’s leading comedians is out on bail after being charged with possession of drugs and a loaded gun in New York in the United States.

Zhou Libo, a Shanghai native, was driving a black Mercedes Benz in Long Island early on Thursday when he was stopped by police for talking on his mobile phone while behind the wheel. A search of the vehicle turned up a loaded Colt Mustang 380 calibre pistol and two bags of crack cocaine, Xinhua reported.

Police also arrested passenger Tang Shuang, who is a celebrated engineering researcher with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Zhou and Tang were arraigned on two counts of criminal possession of a firearm at the felony level and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance at the misdemeanour level. Zhou was also charged with driving while using a mobile phone.

Zhou was released on US$ 5,000 bail ahead of a March 9 trial. Tang was released on US$4,000 bail and his trial is pending, according to World Journal, a New York-based Chinese-language newspaper.

When interviewed by reporters outside the courthouse, Zhou said the gun was legal but he did not specify who owned it. He did not admit to possessing drugs, Xinhua reported. The Chinese consulate in New York said in a statement it was paying close attention to the case.

Zhou shot to fame with his appearances on China’s Got Talent and comedy programmes such Mr Zhou Live Show and Chinese Dream Show. Zhou married Hu Jie, a wealthy businesswoman from Zhejiang at a wedding in Shanghai in 2010, attended by celebrities including Buddhist Master Hsing Yun, Jackie Chan, pianist Lang Lang and others from Hong Kong, the mainland and Taiwan.

They have two daughters who are studying in the United States.

After he was released, Zhou told reporters he was grateful for his motherland. He told Pearl Video he was not concerned about his charges and that “Chinese ought to help Chinese”.