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Friday, 2 March, 2001, 13:35 GMT
China death sentence for tax fraud

China has sentenced seven people to death for tax fraud in what reports say could become the biggest corruption case of the Communist era.

The official news agency, Xinhua, said the seven, including two tax officials and a former prosecutor, had claimed fraudulent tax rebates worth more than seven-million dollars.

The verdicts are the first ones emerging from the trial, being held in the southern province of Guangdong.

The Chinese government has not revealed the full extent of the fraud but customs and tax officials are estimating it could run into billions of dollars.

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