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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 September, 2003, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
China 'orchid king' loses appeal
Yang Bin
Much of Yang's wealth was based on illegal property development

A business tycoon once listed as China's second richest man has lost an appeal against his 18-year sentence for fraud.

Yang Bin, known as China's flower king, was found guilty in July of a string of economic crimes including bribery and illegal land use.

The High People's Court of Liaoning province on Sunday also upheld fines against him and his companies totalling 8.3m yuan ($1m), said the official Xinhua news agency.

Yang is one of a number of high-profile businessmen to have fallen foul of the law in China over the last year.

Before his fall from grace, he was one of China's most flamboyant businessmen, and was named by North Korea to head a free-market experimental zone across from the Chinese border.

Border arrest

A Dutch citizen, he built a business empire growing tulips amid the industrial decay of north-east China and by 2001 had a fortune close to $1bn.

However, much of Yang's wealth had, it turned out, been based not on flowers but on illegal property development.

In what may have been a last bid to avoid prosecution, he accepted an offer from the North Korean government to run a new free trade zone inside the Stalinist state.

But last October, as he prepared to cross the border, Chinese police moved in and took him away.




SEE ALSO:
China's 'orchid king' gets 18 years
14 Jul 03  |  Asia-Pacific
China charges tycoon with fraud
27 Nov 02  |  Asia-Pacific
Economy's ills shape N Korean crisis
22 Apr 03  |  Asia-Pacific
China's ill-gotten gains
14 Nov 02  |  Asia-Pacific
Setback for North Korea trade zone
01 Oct 02  |  Business


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