CHINA. TWO BANK WORKERS EXECUTED
March 31, 2008: Two Chinese bank workers who spent about 45 million yuan (6.4 million dollars) in stolen money on lottery tickets were executed in northern China's Hebei province.
Ren Xiaofeng, 34, and Ma Xiangjing, 37, were sentenced to death in August last year after being convicted of stealing the money from a branch of the Agricultural Bank of China in Handan city where they worked.
Ren and Ma were vault managers at the bank when they started taking money from the safe to play the state lottery.
The two thought that by spending millions of yuan on tickets they would eventually win back enough to replace the missing funds and they would be able to leave their low-paid jobs for a life of luxury.
At first Ren colluded with two other bank employees and stole 200,000 yuan from the bank's safe, earlier reports said.
Ren actually replaced the missing funds after he had a lottery win.
But he became bolder when he began collaborating with Ma, stealing another 50.95 million yuan from the bank during a 30-day period between March and April 2007.
They spent a total of 45 million yuan on lottery tickets in Handan, but, failing to win, went on the run in mid-April, only to be arrested by police days later. (Sources: AFP, 01/04/2008)