Ride-share driver executed for raping and murdering passenger


A ride-share driver has been executed in China for robbing, raping and murdering a 19-year-old female passenger.

Zhong Yuan, 28, committed the crimes after running into gambling debts. He was put to death by the Intermediate People's Court of Wenzhou in eastern China, the court said.

The case, which took place a year ago in the city of Yueqing, has shocked millions of Chinese ride-hailing app users and led the country's largest carpooling firm to suspend its service.

Prior to the case, Mr Zhong had been receiving carpooling orders through Didi, the court said in a statement.

Didi is China's largest ride-hailing platform which bought Uber's China business in 2016.

He had thought of the idea of robbing female passengers after running into debts due to gambling. He had prepared knifes, full face covers and tapes for carrying out crimes.

He successfully robbed one female passenger on August 23, the day before he received an order from the victim, known by her surname Zhao, through the Didi app.

Miss Zhao, 19, hired Mr Zhong's car in early afternoon for a journey to Yongjia County in Zhejiang.

Mr Zhong tried to convince Miss Zhao to cancel her Didi order and carried on with the journey privately, but Miss Zhao rejected.

According to the court, Mr Zhong carried out the crimes on a remote road in the mountains of Danxi Town.

He used a knife to threaten Miss Zhao and slashed her left hand. He then used tapes to bind Miss Zhao's arms and legs before transferring 9,000 yuan from her digital wallet into his bank account.

Mr Zhong carried on driving to a nearby village and then raped Miss Zhao on the back row of his car.

Out of fear that his crimes would be exposed, he squeezed Miss Zhao's neck with his hands and repeatedly stabbed her neck, causing her to die.

He dumped her body down a cliff and fled the scene.

Mr Zhong was arrested three days later on August 27 and charged with murdering, raping and robbing in November.

He was sentenced to death on February 1 by the Intermediate People's Court of Wenzhou. 

The murder case caused a nationwide scrutiny into car-sharing services.

Didi, which at the time was the world's largest ride-hailing firm by number of rides and expanding globally, apologised to its users one day after the crime happened. The company said it 'failed to live up to everybody's trust and bore undeniable responsibility of the incident'.

The company suspended its carpooling service in China on August 27.

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk

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