XIAMEN, Fujian, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Alleged smuggling kingpin Lai Changxing has been prosecuted for smuggling and bribery, the People's Procuratorate of Xiamen said here Monday.
The municipal court of Xiamen has taken on the case, said the statement.
Lai, 53, the chief suspect in a multibillion-U.S.-dollar smuggling operation that dates back to the 1990s in Xiamen, a coastal city in southeast Fujian Province, fled to Canada 13 years ago.
After he was repatriated to China on July 23, 2011, he was arrested and investigated for smuggling and bribery.
The investigation concluded in late December and he was handed over for prosecution, according to the statement.
After going through all the evidence and interrogating Lai, prosecutors confirmed that the facts are clear and the evidence is solid, the statement said.
They have decided to charge Lai with masterminding a criminal ring engaged in smuggling and bribery, the statement said.
The legal rights of Lai as well as other suspects and their lawyers have been protected, and prosecutors fully exchanged ideas with them before filing the lawsuit, the statement said.
According to a previous statement from the local customs and anti-smuggling agency and the Xiamen prosecutor's office, the investigation showed that Lai had smuggled a huge number of commodities, such as cigarettes, cars, petroleum, cooking oil, chemicals and equipment, through Xiamen Customs from 1996 to 1999.
He bribed dozens of government officials and ordered his subordinates to do so, too, which involved a significant amount of money, the statement said.
Lai and the other suspects involved have confessed to the charges.