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Pigeons Won Competition by Flying Home Riding High-speed Rail


court: fabricating factsconcealing truth constitute fraud

in order to swindle the prize money offered by a pigeons association, the swindlers achieved good results through cheating in the pigeon racing competition, but didn’t accept the prize money because of fear. recently, changning district peoples court of shanghai (hereinafter referred to as the “court”) made the first-instance judgment on this case,sentenced the defendant gong to three years in prison with four years’ of probationa fine of rmb30,000 for fraud,the defendant zhang three years in prison with three years’ of probationa fine of rmb20,000.

at the end of april 2017, shanghai racing pigeon association held the 16th yearling competition. on april 29th, the defendants gongzhang respectively sent their domesticated pigeons to shanghai racing pigeon association to take part in the race. on may 1st, gong’szhang’s pigeons returned to nests,the two reported the results to the organizing committee. in the end, gong’szhang’s pigeons took the top four positions in the competition. according to the rules of the competition, the total prize money for the top four is rmb 1,092,500 yuan.

they would soon get the huge million prize, but they were not happy. instead of being happy, but they were afraid. on may 1st, after the pigeons association announced the results of the competition, the results that gong’szhang’s pigeons took the top four positions were questioned by many fanciers. guilty consciences make men cowards. after deliberation, they decided to kill the cheating pigeons on the morning of may 2,told the organizers that the pigeons had been lostthey gave up the resultsprizes.

what gongzhang did that made them so flustered that they gave up the huge prize that would be available soon?

as it turns out, they did something on the pigeons joining the competition: first, old pigeons that were domesticated for years were used instead of yearlings required by the competition rules second, the pigeons were alternately domesticated to let the pigeons know the dovecotes at the two places in order to create conditions for subsequent cheating third, after the start of the competition, the participating pigeons “flew” home by high-speed rail to gain good performance.

according to the defendant gong, he had been preparing for the competition since 2016. since the gathering place of the competition is in shangqiu, henan every year, gong, who planned the cheating, hired people in henan to raise these pigeonslet the pigeons know the dovecote at the breeding place in henan after a period of flight. then the pigeons were brought back to shanghai together with zhang to let the pigeons know the dovecote at the breeding place in shanghai. in this way, by raising the pigeons alternatively in henanshanghai, the pigeons knew the dovecotes at the two places.

after the pigeons were handed over to the organizer on april 29, 2017, they drove to the breeding place in henan the next day. on the morning of may 1st, after the pigeons flew back to the dovecote in henan, they put the pigeons in the milk box, drove to the suzhou high-speed railway, station, anhui,then returned to shanghai by high-speed rail. on the afternoon of may 1st, they brought the pigeons to their respective breeding placesreleased them, which caused the illusion that the pigeons flew back. finally, the more experienced gong determined the “homing” sequencespecific time of the participating pigeons. they reported the results separately,finally “acquired” the top four positions.

due to the strong doubts caused by the results, the organizer of the event called the police. on june 28, 2017, gongzhang were criminally detained by the police for suspected fraud. on august 4 of the same year, the two were arrested by law.

after hearing the case, the court held that the two defendants fabricated factsconcealed truth to swindle publicprivate property for the purpose of illegal possession, thus constituting a fraud,considering the amount is especially huge, they should be punished according to law. in the joint crime, the defendant gong who played the principal role was the principal criminal the defendant zhang who plays a secondary role was an accomplice. according to the circumstances of the case, the two discontinued the crimeshould be given mitigated punishment according to law. as they truthfully confessed their crimes after being arrested, they can be given lighter punishment according to law.

criminal law of the peoples republic of china

article 266 whoever swindles publicprivate moneyproperty, if the amount is relatively large, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detentionpublic surveillanceshall also,shall only, be fined if the amount is huge,if there are other serious circumstances, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 yearsshall also be fined if the amount is especially huge,if there are other especially serious circumstances, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 yearslife imprisonmentshall also be finedbe sentenced to confiscation of property, except as otherwise specifically provided in this law.

article 24 discontinuation of a crime refers to a case where, in the course of committing a crime, the offender voluntarily discontinues the crimevoluntarilyeffectively prevents the consequences of the crime from occurring.

an offender who discontinues a crime shall, if no damage is caused, be exempted from punishment or, if any damage is caused, be given a mitigated punishment.

article 25 a joint crime refers to an intentional crime committed by twomore persons jointly.


article 26 a principal criminal refers to any person who organizesleads a criminal group in carrying out criminal activitiesplays a principal role in a joint crime.


article 27 an accomplice refers to any person who plays a secondaryauxiliary role in a joint crime.

an accomplice shall be given a lightermitigated punishmentbe exempted from punishment.

(written by zhang weicong, changning district peoples court of shanghai)

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