Mine Murders Uncovered in Mongolia
On 31 May, prosecutors in Inner Mongolia announced the indictment of seventy-four people for the killing of seventeen mine workers. The killings were for the purpose of faking mining accidents in order to blackmail mine owners running unlicensed operations into paying compensation. The compensation payments ranged from five to eight hundred thousand yuan. In a scheme that brings to mind the plot of the movie Blind Shaft, directed by Li Yang, these suspects lured victims from poor villages, and paid them a higher than average daily wage to work in the coalmines. The victims were then murdered within days. The actual number of victims is likely to be higher, as corpses were quickly cemented and disposed of. The killing of these seventeen people was discovered in January 2015, when the police were investigating a mining accident and found that some of the victims were actually alive. Newspapers have reported on similar schemes in the past. For instance, in 2009 the police discovered that several people from a village in Leibo county, Sichuan province, were involved in buying or kidnapping people with severe mental problems only to sell them as slaves or to kill them in the mines in order to get compensation.