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Saturday, January 29, 2000, updated at 12:51(GMT+8)
China China Executes 13 Pirates

China executed 13 Chinese and Indonesian pirates in South China's Guangdong Province on January 28 who in November 1998 robbed the Cheung Son cargo ship from Hong Kong and killed all 23 sailors on board.

The Supreme People's Court (SPC) approved the death sentences of the Guangdong Provincial Higher People's Court and issued the order of execution today, the SPC announced here today.

The executions of Weng Siliang, Indonesian citizen Soni Wee and the other 11 who committed the crimes on China's territorial waters in the South China Sea were enforced in Shanwei City of Guangdong.

The gang started planning the robbery in August of 1998 with illegal purchase of guns and buying ships. On November 16, they intercepted the Cheung Son cargo ship from Hong Kong by masquerading as Chinese police.

They robbed the ship and killed all of the 23 seamen. Later they sold the contraband for 300,000 US dollars. They also stole a total of 970,00 yuan in cash.

Wen and Soni Wee also were involved in the pirating of two foreign ships, and Wee was found with 156 grams of narcotics when arrested, according to court hearings.

The Intermediate People's Court of Shanwei heard the case in December last year and issued the 13 death sentences. The Guangdong Higher People's Court rejected the defendants' appeals on January 8 ,this year, and asked the SPC for approval of the death sentences.

Other pirates involved in this case were given sentences of life imprisonment. (Xinhua)

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