Cheng Chui-ping, the fugitive accused of masterminding a global human-smuggling ring, yesterday lost a court battle to block her extradition to the United States for trial. Cheng, 51, known as 'Big Sister Ping', was ordered by Magistrate Peter Law to be remanded in custody while awaiting the Chief Executive's final instruction for her to be surrendered to the US authorities. Mr Law said he was satisfied with the evidence and could not see any grounds on which to turn down the extradition application. 'I'm satisfied that all the offences are relevant offences. I now order Cheng to be remanded in custody to wait for the Chief Executive's decision to surrender her,' he said. Mr Law reminded Cheng she had 15 days to appeal to the Court of First Instance if she decided to do so. Cheng is accused of being behind a series of massive people-smuggling operations in the early 1990s. She faces seven charges in the US of conspiracy to smuggle aliens into America, holding them hostage for ransom, money laundering and running an illegal money-transfer business. Raymond Pierce, defending Cheng, told Eastern Court most of the alleged offences took place more than five years ago and had, therefore, exceeded the time limit for prosecution under the US legal system. But senior government counsel Wayne Walsh said since Cheng was a fugitive, the normal time limit was irrelevant. Mr Walsh also pointed out that Hong Kong's Judiciary had no rights over the US-imposed time limits. Cheng's American legal representative, Joels Cohen, arrived in Hong Kong from New York on Monday. He said they would make a decision today on whether to appeal to the Court of First Instance. 'If she appeals, the case could go on for several years,' he said. During the two-day hearing, the court heard evidence from illegal immigrants and some members of the Fuk Ching gang, who Cheng employed. Cheng was said to have arranged illegal entry for the aliens into the US by ship, plane and truck. One migrant told how Cheng arranged for him and 10 others to be hidden under a secret floor of a goods vehicle and smuggled from Mexico into the US in 1984. He said she would appear from time to time and give them encouragement. 'She told us she has successfully brought many migrants into the States and told us to relax,' he said in a statement. Other evidence given by Fuk Ching gang leader Guo Liang-qi revealed how Cheng approached the notorious gang for help. 'We asked for US$750,000 as the reward . . . she proposed that we should work together in a long-term basis,' he said. Guo later used US$300,000 (HK$2.3 million) of the reward to invest in a ship named Golden Venture, which was used for people-smuggling. Cheng arranged for the money to be transferred from the US to Thailand through an underground bank, the court heard. Mr Walsh said Guo's evidence revealed Cheng's involvement in the Golden Venture tragedy, in which 10 mainlanders perished in the sea off New York.