It is unknown if an alleged cohort of Lai Changxing will be sent to the mainland A former mainland customs official linked to the massive Fujian smuggling scandal is facing extradition to Hong Kong after the Australian Federal Court in Sydney ended his two-year bid for freedom. Wong Tai-shing, 46, alleged to be a close associate of China's most-wanted man, Lai Changxing, had been appealing against a deportation order made after his arrest in 2002. Wong is wanted on the mainland to face charges of smuggling and bribery, but it was unclear last night what charges, if any, he faces in Hong Kong, nor whether he would be surrendered to mainland authorities upon his return to the city. A Chinese embassy spokesman in Canberra was unable to say when Wong might be deported, or whether he could face a death sentence on the mainland. Australia has a policy of not extraditing fugitives who may face the death penalty if convicted of the charges against them. Hong Kong's Department of Justice and Security Bureau were also unable to comment on the case. Eight people have been executed for their roles in the 53 billion yuan smuggling racket. Wong, formerly a middle-ranking customs official in Xiamen, fled to Hong Kong on a one-way permit in 1995. He secured entry to Australia in August 1999. According to documents submitted to the Federal Court, Wong resigned his customs post and went to work for Lai's Yuan Hua group in 1994. Lai, who is fighting extradition from Canada, has been accused of bribing officials to allow 53 billion yuan worth of vehicles, oil, cigarettes and consumer goods into the mainland - mainly from Hong Kong - in the early 1990s. The Yuan Hua group was allegedly a conduit for 23 billion yuan of the goods. On his arrival in Australia, Wong applied for a student visa and undertook to study a three-year business administration course in Sydney. Immigration officials refused to renew his visa, and he was arrested at his home in February 2002. According to documents filed with the Federal Court, an Immigration Department official explained to him that 'the minister [of immigration] reasonably suspects that you do not pass the character test and the minister is satisfied that refusal to grant a visa is in the national interest'. The minister had before him highly sensitive information from 'a foreign agency or organisation responsible for law enforcement, criminal intelligence, criminal investigation or security intelligence', the court heard.