China jails British-US investigator couple

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

SHANGHAI (AP) -- A Chinese court has sentenced a Briton and an American to prison on charges of illegally trading in the personal details of Chinese citizens.

The married couple, Peter Humphrey and Yingzeng Yu, operated a firm in Shanghai that helped companies screen potential business partners and employees. They testified that they bought the information to help companies combat fraud.

After a one-day trial, Humphrey was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison to be followed by expulsion from China. Yu was sentenced to two years. Both were also fined.

Humphrey is a former reporter for the Reuters news agency who has worked as an investigator for the past 14 years in Asia, according to his company's website.

Yu, an American citizen, has worked for or advised companies in the United States, Hong Kong and China.

Their arrest last August sent a chill through foreign businesses. It came as Beijing tightened controls over information.

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