Canadian citizen Robert Llyod Schellenberg will stand trial in Dalian on December 29 for charges of drug smuggling.
The announcement was made on Liaoning Province High People’s Court website on December 26 and states that a trial will be held for Schellenberg on December 29 at 2pm. While the official announcement does not mention any details about the case, Dalian Radio and Television Station’s website, runsky.com, reported that once the amount of smuggled drugs is “officially announced, it will frighten you.”
Schellenberg is the fourth Canadian who has been detained by Chinese authorities in December, joining Michael Kovrig, Michael Spavor and Sarah McIver. Both Kovrig and Spavor were brought in under suspicion of engaging in activities harmful to China’s national security, while McIver was working illegally in China.
Schellenberg, if found guilty of these charges, is certain to face an incredibly severe punishment. According to the Guardian, a British man named Akmal Shaikh was executed in 2009 after he was caught smuggling 4 kilograms of heroin into China. The case was deemed controversial due to claims that Shaikh was severely mentally ill. Another foreigner from Australia named Bengali Sherrif was sentenced to death after attempting to smuggle methamphetamine out of the Chinese mainland. Sheriff was arrested at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport in June 2014. Just a few months after Sheriff's arrest, Pete Gardner, a New Zealander was also arrested at the same airport for trying to smuggle 30 kilograms of meth to Sydney, Australia. In each case, the defendants claimed they were deceived or unaware of the circumstances.
According to Global Times, anyone smuggling narcotic drugs of “large quantities” shall be sentenced to a fixed prison sentence of 15 years, life imprisonment or the death penalty.
[Cover image via @lensinkmitchel/Unsplash]