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Five sentenced to death over mine murder scams

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Beijing: Five people have been sentenced to death by a court in China after being found guilty of killing five miners to swindle compensations from managers.

A city court in Ningxia Hui region convicted 10 defendants of deceiving others into working at coal mines and then killing them with stones, shovels and hammers while they worked in mines in Ningxia and Shanxi, Shaanxi provinces between 2010 and 2013.

They killed five people and swindled $360,000 from mine owners by posing as family of the dead, said the court.

Cheng Wentao, Zhou Shikao and Qiao Yanbo were sentenced to death for murder while Li Chuncheng and Xia Duming received suspended death sentences. Five others were sentenced to three to 15 years in prison.

Similar murder cases have occurred elsewhere in China over the past decade as some mine owners attempt to cover up the fraudulent “accidents” to avoid an investigation by work safety authorities.