Page last updated at 06:45 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 07:45 UK

Two Chinese executed for fraud

Chinese criminals are sentenced to death in Wenzhou, file image
China executes more people than any other nation

Two Chinese business people have been executed for defrauding investors out of more than 850m yuan ($120m, £70m), China's state news agency reports.

Du Yimin and Si Chaxian "seriously damaged the country's financial regulatory order and social stability", the Supreme People's Court ruled.

The death sentence is usually reserved for violent crimes but is occasionally used for cases of major fraud.

China executes more people than any other country.

But last month the vice-president of the Supreme People's Court indicated that the punishment would be used more sparingly in future.

Du Yimin, a businesswoman from Zhejiang province, was found guilty of conning more than 700 million yuan ($102.5m ) from investors in a real estate scam.

She had promised them monthly returns of up to 10%.

Si Chaxian, the other person convicted, collected 167 million yuan ($24m) from more than 300 people.

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