The luxury Xiamen guesthouse where alleged smuggling kingpin Lai Changxing entertained government officials is to be turned into a training ground for migrant labourers. City mayor Zhang Changping told the South China Morning Post yesterday that the municipal government would hand over the guesthouse previously owned by Lai - known as the Red Chamber - to an official trade union. 'The union will turn the building into a training centre for migrant workers very soon,' Mr Zhang said. Lai, who is fighting extradition from Canada, is accused of masterminding a huge smuggling racket. Through his Yuan Hua Group of companies, he is said to have smuggled billions of yuan of goods into China and offered bribes to dozens of government officials who were invited to parties at the Red Chamber in exchange for turning a blind eye. It was said Lai videotaped the parties and used the evidence to blackmail officials. Xiamen municipal government reopened the Red Chamber as a tourist attraction in August 2001, but the operation was halted after just three months due to a lack of space. A number of travel agencies still run 'anti-corruption tours' which take in the chamber. The city authorities attempted to auction the building last year at a starting price of 5.7 million yuan (HK$5.4 million), but nobody made a bid. Mr Zhang said last week that Xiamen had put the Yuan Hua Group corruption case - the largest ever uncovered in China - firmly behind it, citing the growth of the city's gross domestic product by 15.5 per cent last year as proof. He said the figure showed the central government had made the right move by cracking down on smuggling.