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Chinese auntie enforcers jailed after reign of grey terror
by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) Aug 8, 2017

Slap on the wrist for Chinese caught with brother's arms
Shanghai (AFP) Aug 8, 2017 - A Chinese man was detained after a bus station security scanner revealed that he had his brother's severed arms in his luggage, state media reported, but police said he was unlikely to face criminal charges.

The 50-year-old was stopped in the city of Duyun in the southwestern province of Guizhou last week, according to the Chongqing Morning Post.

Authorities initially detained the man, surnamed Zheng, on suspicion of murder.

But he explained that the limbs belonged to a brother who was severely injured in an accidental electrocution that necessitated the amputation of his arms.

Chinese traditionally believe that all body parts must be buried together at death to ensure the person is "whole" in the afterlife. So the injured man's brother was taking the arms back to their home village where they would be kept until his eventual death, reports said.

The man was freed after police verified his account with the hospital where his brother was being treated.

Staff at the bus station confirmed the basic details of the case when contacted by AFP but declined further comment.

An official at the local police station told AFP the arm-carrying man was unlikely to face criminal charges but could be hit with "administrative penalties", which typically consist of a fine.

Media reports said he would also have to find some other way to get the amputated arms back home.

Permits are typically required in China for the transportation of human body parts but they are usually banned from buses for hygiene reasons, bus station staff were quoted as saying.

Members of a Chinese "auntie gang" of debt-collectors have been jailed over a reign of grey terror in which they menaced victims and even stripped naked to get them to cough up, state media said on Tuesday.

Fourteen of the senior enforcers received jail sentences of up to 11 years after being convicted of "organising, leading and participating in gangster-like organisations and for their provocative and disturbing behaviour", the Beijing News said.

All told, about 30 women with an average age of 50 -- some of whom had met while engaging in the common elderly Chinese pastime of dancing in public squares -- took part in the scheme in the city of Shangqiu in central Henan province.

The sentences were handed down last month after a four-year spree in which the accused -- hired by a property developer and firms that wanted debts paid -- used strong-arm tactics to collect the money or forced people from their homes to make way for big construction projects.

They would shout at or insult debtors into submission using loudspeakers, and when that did not work they spat at them, reports said.

Some female victims reportedly had their clothes torn off if they resisted, while men said the aggressive aunties would rip off their own clothes to imply they had been sexually assaulted.

One of the ringleaders, a blind woman named Gao Yun, told The Beijing News the nefarious scheme had been a way to kill time and was "something fun to do".

They never resorted to violence and it was only a "war of words", she said, adding that the prime motivation was wages of about 200 yuan ($30) a day plus meals.

Chinese-American professor appeals Singapore expulsion
Singapore (AFP) Aug 8, 2017
A prominent scholar of Chinese studies said Tuesday he had appealed against a decision to expel him from Singapore for allegedly working as "an agent of influence" for a foreign state. Huang Jing, a US citizen of Chinese descent who worked at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, had his permanent residence status revoked by authorities last week. His wife Shirley Yang Xiuping, whom ... read more

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