China executes two businessmen for fraud

BEIJING; China on Wednesday executed two businessmen who defrauded more than 100 million dollars from investors, state media said.

Du Yimin, a businessman in southeast Zhejiang province, was convicted of defrauding 700 million yuan (102 million dollars/71 million euros) in a real estate scam offering monthly interest payments of up to 10 percent.

He spent the money on houses, cars and luxury goods, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Si Chaxian made 167 million yuan from more than 300 people by promising them annual interest rates of between 18 and 108 percent, the agency reported.

Their illegal activities "had seriously damaged the country's financial regulatory order and social stability", and they should be punished in line with the law, China's Supreme People's Court ruled, according to Xinhua.

China annually executes more people than the rest of the world combined, with the nation last year putting to death more than 1,700 people out of a global total of almost 2,400, according to Amnesty International.

As China does not publish full data on the death penalty, rights groups say the numbers executed could be far higher.