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Chinese crime chief's Mercedes sold

BEIJING, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- A luxurious bulletproof Mercedes Benz, once owned by China's most notorious smuggler, was sold for 1.25 million yuan or $151,000 Sunday.

The bulletproof Mercedes once belonged to Lai Changxing and it was one of 18 recovered smuggled cars that were auctioned on the last day of a 19-day exhibition at the Military Museum of the Chinese People's revolution in Beijing, the official China daily newspaper reported.

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Lai was the mastermind of a criminal ring who was charged with being responsible for smuggling $10 billion worth of goods in collaboration with corrupt officials, the biggest smuggling operation uncovered in China since 1949, the Chian Daily said. He remains on the run, the paper said.

Authorities put Lai's car on the auction block after it failed to sell at an auction for 4.5 million yuan or $544,000) two years ago in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province, the newspaper said.

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