16 Jan '11, 3am

A Chinese farmer was sentenced to life in prison for evading almost $700k worth of highway tolls

BEIJING - A CHINESE farmer has been sentenced to life in prison for avoiding highway tolls adding up to more than 3.5 million yuan (S$683,900). State media this week reported that a court in the central province of Henan sentenced Shi Jianfeng on Dec 21 for fraud. He was also fined 2 million yuan. The news caused an uproar among some Chinese, who argued in online postings and commentaries that shorter sentences have been given out for the more serious crimes of rape or murder. The outcry was so loud that the Intermediate People's Court in the city of Pingdingshan held a news conference this week to defend its decision. A report in the People's Daily newspaper said Shi avoided paying tolls more than 2,300 times by using fake military license plates between May 2008 and January 2009 as he ran a business transporting gravel with his two vans. Military vehicles don't have to p...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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