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Internet Gambling Scam Murder Could Have Ties to Beijing Olympics

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Aug/16/2008

The murder case of Yang Zhen Xing, his girlfriend and presumably their pet cat, continues to take even stranger twists and turns with investigators now looking at the Summer Olympics and Beijing underground for clues.

Investigators are still trying to determine why a Chinese couple were found brutally murdered in their Newcastle West End flat in what was described as a "frenzied knife attack", quite possibly related to a gambling scam. At least one of the victims had been tortured for more than an hour.

Chinese sources in Newcastle told The Times that Yang Zhen Xing, 25, had placed advertisements on UK-based Chinese-language websites to recruit people to watch and report on football matches around the world just prior to his murder on August 9.

Police said Mr Zhen,25, was "assaulted for more than an hour" before being stabbed. They believe passers-by may have heard his screams.

Examinations also showed Miss Xi may have been asphyxiated as well as stabbed during the attack. A cat was also found drowned to death in a water basin.

Northumbria police confirmed that officers had flown to the Chinese capital to help solve the murders, according to the Guardian newspaper.

Officers from Scotland Yard's serious crime directorate, which has detectives specialising in investigating executions by Chinese gangs, including the triads, have joined the team.

Detectives are exploring the theory that a major criminal network might have sanctioned a double hit rather than the murders being the result of a local dispute, that paper reported on Sunday.

Detectives revealed information on a seized computer and three mobile phones showed the pair may also have arranged forged professional qualifications as well.

One line of inquiry involves claims Mr Zhen recruited spectators online to send live updates from UK football matches, according to a BBC report.

It is claimed syndicates in China, where matches are televised a minute behind, could take advantage of this.

Det Supt Wade stated: "Our officers have the support of forces across the country in their efforts to bring the killer or killers of Xi Zhou and Zhen Xing Yang to justice.

Detective Wade said that investigators were sifting through phone records to determine a time of the murder and who the couple may have contacted prior to their bloody murder.

A major Chinese-based international betting syndicate, which employed Yang as an international agent in its efforts to gain an edge when betting on the results of Premier League football games shown in China, is understood to be under investigation by police as well according to the Guardian.

Detectives in China, London and Northumbria are concentrating upon the theory that Yang - known to friends as Kevin - had double-crossed his employers and was visited last weekend by a gang determined to take revenge for missing payments. A series of threats posted on Chinese Mandarin websites by people allegedly recruited by Yang and who had not been paid are being tracked down in UK and China.

Yang, who graduated along with his girlfriend in 2006, might have been tortured because his killers wanted to find cash linked to the alleged racket. He was eventually bludgeoned and stabbed to death. Zhou, a waitress at a Newcastle noodle bar, was asphyxiated, possibly in an attempt to stifle her screams. The murder weapons - a knife and another sharp-edged instrument - have yet to be found.

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Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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