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Murdered Chinese Man Yang Zhen Xing Tied to Internet Gambling Scam

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Aug/14/2008

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.

A post-mortem examination revealed he suffered extensive bruising to his arms before he died.

Examinations also showed Miss Xi may have been asphyxiated as well as stabbed during the attack.

A drowned cat, believed to have been a family pet, was also found at the scene in a washing bowl underneath a sink

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.

The Times of London also reported that rumour on the Internet - monitored by Northumbria police - suggested Mr Yang was an agent and that some of the employees were in dispute about missing payments.

A Chinese source said rumours had been rife in Newcastle about shady dealings possibly involving Mr Yang. Underworld Chinese triad gangs are believed to be widely involved in such illegal betting syndicates with many clients in China where many football teams have a reputation for throwing matches to meet the demands of syndicates.

In an online posting in 2005 on a UK website by Mr Yang, under his internet identity of lanyang0201, he offered tuition to would-be economics students, describing himself as a third-year doctorate student in economics at New York university, at a fee of £20 an hour.

The source said that while police had found cousins of Ms Zhou living in Britain, they had had great difficulty finding any relatives of Mr Yang.

Initial reports said Mr Yang came from the north eastern city of Dalian. But sources in Newcastle said his family home still appeared to be a mystery. And it was not yet clear whether Ms Zhou's family comes from central Hunan province or from north-eastern Shandong province.

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