Canadian to Face Charges of Drug Smuggling in China

China announces Canadian’s drugs appeal amid row over detained trio

China announces Canadian’s drugs appeal amid row over detained trio

A Canadian is to appear before a court in northeastern China on Saturday for drugs charges, a government-run news portal said, amid frosty relations between Beijing and Ottawa.

The Global Times, an English-language publication of the official People's Daily, reported Thursday that Robert Lloyd Schellenberg's case is in an appeal phase, after he was previously convicted by a Chinese court.

"Global Affairs Canada has been following this case for several years and has been providing consular assistance to the Canadian citizen" since the person was first detained in Liaoning, Richard Walker, a spokesman for Canada's foreign ministry, known as Global Affairs, said on Thursday.

Schellenberg was scheduled for an appeal hearing for Saturday, Dec. 29 after he was earlier found to have smuggled "an enormous amount of drugs" into China, according to Dalian.runsky.com, a news portal operated by Dalian authorities.

Though no link has been officially made, the arrests seem to be in retaliation to Canada's December 1 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

Citing privacy concerns, Walker said no further information was available.

It mockingly admired the Canadian's gall for "actually daring to smuggle drugs into China", which still has the death penalty for drug trafficking. Foreigners have been executed before in China for drug smuggling including a Pakistani-British businessman in 2009 who some argued had been tricked into smuggling heroin.

Days later, Mr. Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who now works as an analyst for the International Crisis Group, and Mr. Spavor, a Canadian entrepreneur in China, were detained by Chinese authorities on suspicion of "engaging in activities that endanger the national security".

China has demanded that Canada release Meng immediately, but neither country has drawn a direct connection between her arrest and the detention of Canadians in China. She is accused of misleading multinational banks about Huawei's control of a company operating in Iran, putting the banks at risk of violating USA sanctions and incurring penalties, according to court documents.

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