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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Outsourcing Contract Murder

     Murder-for-hire cases fall generally into one of two categories: criminal homicides in which the contract for the killing is carried out, and crimes in which, due to law enforcement intervention in the form of an undercover operative playing the role of the assassin, no one is killed. While still a serious felony, the latter offense is one of criminal solicitation.

     The cast of a murder-for-hire plot features three principal characters: the instigator/mastermind who solicits the criminal homicide, the hit man (or the undercover cop playing the role of triggerman), and the victim, the person targeted for death. Supporting players might include a cast of go-betweens and accomplices such as people who put the mastermind in touch with the hit man or the undercover cop, and helpers brought into the scheme by the triggerman.

     A few years ago, hit men in China added a new player to the traditional cast of murder-for-hire characters: The subcontractor.

     In 2013, in Nanning, China, Tan Youhui, a highly successful owner of a real estate company, hired a hit man named Xi Guangan to kill a business competitor. The murder-for-hire mastermind provided his hit man with the murder target's business card, his cellphone number, and his vehicle registration information. Tan Youhui also paid Xi Guangan two million yuan ($385,000) to do the job.

     Instead of pulling off the hit, Xi subcontracted the assignment to another assassin named Mo Tianxiang and kept half of the murder fee for himself. Mo, the new hitman, decided to hire a man called Yang Kangsheng to kill the murder-for-hire target. Mo gave Yang 270 yuan ($52,000) upfront and promised $96,000 when he finished the job.

     Yang Kangsheng, the second murder-for-hire subcontractor, also decided to outsource the murder assignment to a third hit man named Ling Xiansi. Yang promised this assassin 100,000 yuan ($19,000) once he completed the task.

     Ling Xiansi, the final hit man in the outsourcing chain, decided not to get his hands bloody for a mere $19,000. Instead of killing Tan Youhui's business rival, Ling went to the murder-for-hire target to convince him to fake his own death. Ling could then collect his fee from Yang without resorting to murder.

     The murder-for-hire target approached by Ling Xiansi had no intention of faking his own death. Instead, he reported Tan Youhui's plot against his life to the local police.

     Following the criminal investigation into this bizarre murder-for-hire scheme where all of the hit men wanted the blood money without spilling any blood, Nanning police officers arrested the murder-for-hire mastermind Tan Youhui, and his original hit man, Xi Guangan. The authorities also took into custody all of the subcontractors in the case.

     Upon his conviction for soliciting murder, Tan Youhui received a sentence of five years in prison. The others were sentenced to two years and seven months behind bars.

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