Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 13:58 UK

Murder victim 'hid' betting scam

Xi Zhou and her boyfriend Zhen Xing Yang
Xi Zhou and Zhen Xing Yang met at Newcastle University

A Chinese man brutally murdered along with his girlfriend tried to cover up money made through an illegal internet betting scam, a court has heard.

The mutilated bodies of Zhen Xing Yang and his girlfriend Xi Zhou, both 25, were found in their flat in Croydon Road, Newcastle, on 9 August 2008.

Guang Hui Cao, 31, of Castle Close, Morpeth, Northumberland, denies murder.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Mr Yang switched money between bank accounts to try to hide its illegitimate origins.

The court also heard earlier that the couple could have been murdered for money made from the internet football betting scam and selling false qualifications.

Paul Gullan, a financial investigator working for Northumbria Police, studied the couple's bank activity and said Mr Yang used "layering" as a way to hide the origin of his money.

This means transferring cash which is deposited in one account into another account.

Mr Gullan said: "It would suggest to me that the movement of money was an attempt, albeit quite basic, to conceal the origins of the original funds."

Guang Hui Cao is taken to court
Guang Hui Cao denies two counts of murder

Sums deposited into his accounts were often for round figures of £500, £1,000 or even £5,000 at a time, the jury heard.

From 2002 until his murder last year, Mr Yang had declared earnings of just £2,771, tax records showed.

Miss Zhou earned £14,000-a-year as a waitress at the Wagamama restaurant in Newcastle, but more than £140,000 passed through her bank accounts, the court heard.

Mr Yang died after being repeatedly hit with a hammer-like weapon and having his throat slit.

Miss Zhou also died after being hit with a heavy weapon and was found bound and gagged face down on a bed.

The trial continues.



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Couple's parents 'had no fears'
28 Apr 09 |  Tyne
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Man denies Chinese double murder
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