Sunday 18 March 2018

Chinese Red Cross row woman Guo Meimei jailed for running gambling activities

Guo Meimei has been jailed for five years in China
Guo Meimei has been jailed for five years in China

A woman who marred the reputation of China's Red Cross with social media posts on her extravagant lifestyle has been sentenced to five years in jail for running gambling activities.

Dongcheng District Court in Beijing said Guo Meimei ran casino operations out of private apartments in the capital with bets totalling nearly 3 million yuan (£300,000).

Guo became notorious when she claimed in 2011 to have connections to the Red Cross Society of China and posted photos on social media flaunting her extravagant lifestyle, including a Maserati and Lamborghini vehicles.

Her posts fuelled public anger and raised concerns whether the charity had misused the donations.

Guo later retracted her claims of Red Cross connections, but donations to the organisation by members of the public had already dropped.

Guo was detained by police in July 2014. Because of the high public attention Guo commands, the court streamed updates on proceedings, including photos from the courtroom, in China's social media.

The court photos showed Guo in a plain, white blouse and wearing no makeup, in contrast to the more flirtatious selfies she had posted in the past.

Press Association

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