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China: Around The Nation

Chinese cigarette smugglers caught trying to claim reward for their own crime

Money doesn’t come easy, but jail time does for incompetent criminals

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 July, 2017, 3:52pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 July, 2017, 4:31pm

A criminal gang in southwest China thought they had hatched a cunning plan when they called police to report themselves smuggling fake cigarettes in the hope of claiming a 1 million yuan (US$148,000) reward for the tip-off, a news website reports.

The five-member gang in Zunyi, a city the southwest province of Guizhou seized on what they thought was a way to make easy money after hearing that authorities were offering rich rewards for tip-offs about counterfeit cigarettes, according to Xwh.cn.

According to local regulations, informers’ rewards could be worth 10 per cent of value of the counterfeit cigarettes and liquor confiscated.

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The gang bought more than 14,000 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes for 380,000 yuan from a man in Fujian province and transported the cigarettes to Zunyi in early 2015.

The gang then called police in Zunyi as soon as the truck with the counterfeit cigarettes set out.

Police intercepted the truck and valued the cigarettes at more than 10 million yuan.

But police dug deeper and soon discovered that the informers and perpetrators were the same people.

By last week, all those involved had been sentenced to between one and nine years in prison by a local court.