UK police investigating an horrific murder of a Chinese student and his girlfriend are considering allegations that he may have been involved in an international football Internet betting scam, reports the Times Online.
There have been allegations that Yang Zhen Xing (25) had placed advertisements on UK-based Chinese-language websites to recruit people to watch and report on football matches around the world. The aim would have been to take advantage of delays in almost live broadcasts to place bets for gambling syndicates, a source told the newspaper.
Yang and his girlfriend Zhou Xi, also 25, were murdered in their flat in the West End of Newcastle, with some reports indicating that Yang could have been tortured for up to an hour before being killed. A pet cat was also found dead.
In the adverts Yang had written: “It is a very simple job, any student who is interested, please contact Zhenxing Yang." An email address was then listed. Another advertisement, posted under the name of CICI-UK, his girlfriend's nickname, said: "Work: watch football games and send live information to people. Requirement: Basic understanding of football rules, no professional background needed, advantage if you have a car. Location: Sheffield, London, Blackpool, Portsmouth, York, Hull and many other places."
A website on Powerapple devoted to covering the double murder has attracted hundreds of comments from Chinese, the newspaper reports, with more and more questioning whether Yang had been involved in scams.
One theory being discussed across dozens of pages online was that football matches shown on television in China were a minute behind live action in the stadium, thus enabling gambling syndicates to place employees at games to gain an advantage.
The Times Online reports that rumour on the internet – monitored by Northumbria police – suggested that Yang was an agent and that some of the employees were in dispute about missing payments.