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China's former richest man gets jail for illegal logging: report

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Aug 29, 2008
A Chinese businessman once listed as the richest in the country has been jailed for more than ten years for illegal logging, state media said Friday.

Luo Zhongfu, 57, chairman of real estate company Fuhai Fuyingshi New Materials Technology Development Co, was found guilty of clearing a forest to make way for a resort development, the Beijing Youth Daily said.

A court in Qingzhen city in the southwestern province of Guizhou also fined him 50,000 yuan (7,300 dollars) for deforestation, illegal use of farmland and interfering with testimony.

The charges focused on a decision by Luo in 2006 to clear part of a forest in Guizhou to make way for a 47-million-dollar, 1,200-villa real estate project without first getting official permission, the paper said.

Luo's wife Yang Xiurong, a politician in Guizhou, was sentenced to two years in jail on top of a 10,000-yuan fine for illegal land use and interfering with testimony, it said, adding both had decided to appeal.

Luo, a Guizhou native, was listed as China's richest man in 1994 and 1995 by US magazine Forbes.

The paper did not say how the couple interfered with testimony, but the Shanghai Daily reported that a business associate ordered several of Luo's employees to go abroad to avoid appearing in court.

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Chinese logging company to invest 8.3 million euros in Congo
Brazzaville, Drcongo (AFP) Aug 27, 2008
A Chinese logging company will invest 8.3 million euros (12.2 million dollars) in the the Democratic Republic of Congo by 2010, a government statement said Wednesday.

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