Patricia Hurtado, Newsday (New York City), Apr. 7
A Chinese national convicted of being part of a ring that smuggled hundreds of Chinese immigrants into the country on fishing trawlers and held them for ransom was deported yesterday to Hong Kong.
Testimony at a 1995 Manhattan federal trial showed about 200 immigrants from China spent 65 days at sea in a fishing vessel. Upon landing in Hampton, Va., in 1993, about 140 immigrants were sent at gunpoint to safe houses in Bridgeport, Conn.
The remaining immigrants were taken to a safe house in Hampton. Some victims later testified they were beaten as gang members forced them to call their families in China and beg them to pay their ransom, at $25,000 to $30,000 each.
Six immigrants whose families could not pay the ransom were transported to a home in Flushing where they were held and beaten until their families could pay the ransom.