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Eight on trial in China over Hong Kong kidnap case

[BEIJING] Eight men have gone on trial in mainland China over the kidnapping of a Hong Kong heiress for a multi-million-dollar ransom last year, a Chinese court said.

Six of them were indicted for abduction while the other two were charged with handling illegal gains, the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court said in a social networking post on Thursday.

The gang abducted Queenie Rosita Law, granddaughter of late textiles tycoon Law Ting-pong, at her house in Hong Kong in April last year, where they also stole watches and jewels worth HK$2 million (S$354,000), the court said.

They held the 29-year-old in a mountain cave before family members paid a ransom of HK$28 million for her to be released three days later, it said.

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Eight members of the gang were captured in the mainland in early May while another suspect was arrested in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong police recovered HK$15 million in cash while police in Shenzhen, which neighbours the former British colony, seized HK$3.65 million, according to the court statement.

Three of the suspects who went on trial Thursday denied they shared any of the ransom, while the two who were accused of selling the stolen properties said they were unaware it was illegally obtained, the state-run Beijing News reported Friday.

The trial was to continue on Friday, it added.