CHINA. THREE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR STEALING OIL
July 27, 2007: a Chinese court sentenced two men to death for masterminding a plot to steal oil from an underwater pipeline that caused tens of millions of dollars in damages.
Wang Yujiang and Liu Linbin were sentenced to death by the Intermediate People's Court in Dongying, a city in Shandong province in eastern China, the state news agency reported.
The court heard that Wang's gang mistakenly drilled into a natural gas pipeline, thinking it was oil, in the Shengli oilfield in June 2005. The natural gas leak was not discovered until March 2006. The gang succeeded in stealing about 65 barrels of oil from a pipeline in a different location, the hole not being discovered for five months. Emergency repairs and clean up at the two locations plus damages to local fishing cost an estimated 400 million yuan. One other person got a suspended death sentence, while seven others were sentenced to prison terms. (Sources: Independent Online, 28/07/2007)