A group of hitmen have been jailed in China after repeatedly trying to subcontract a job to each other.
In 2013, businessman Tan Youhui hired an assassin to "take out" his competitor – known as ‘Wei’ - for US$282,000 (£218,000) after Wei took legal action against Tan’s firm. However, the hitman hired another man, Mo Tianxiang, to do the job, offering US$141,000. After Mo accepted, Xi renegotiated with Tan to be paid another ¥1m after the killing – but Mo in turn hired another hitman, Yang Kangsheng, who agreed to carry out the killing for an upfront fee of ¥270,000, with another ¥500,000 to be paid afterwards.
Yang then offered another hitman, Yang Guangsheng, ¥200,000 to assassinate Mr Wei, with a bonus of ¥500,000 after completion. The latter Yang then offered a fifth subcontractor, Ling Xiansi, ¥100,000 to kill Mr Wei.
However, Ling met Wei in a cafe and proposed faking his death, and sharing the bounty. Wei agreed to pose, gagged and bound, for a photo that Ling could take back to Yang Guangsheng, then reported the case to the police.
All five hitmen, and Tan, have now been convicted of attempted murder by a court in Nanning, Guangxi, following a trial that lasted three years.
Tan, who hired the original hitman, was sentenced to five years in prison, while Xi, the first hitman, was sentenced to three years and six months.
Yang Kangsheng and Yang Guangsheng were sentenced to three years and three months, Mo was sentenced to three years, and Ling was sentenced to two years and seven months.