Pigeon racing remains extremely popular in China, especially among the older generation. It turns out that age does nothing in terms of diluting the desire to win – at whatever cost, even if that means cheating
So, 2 men who participated in a recent race in Shanghai have been charged with and found guilty of fraud, NDTV reports, citing the state-run Legal Daily. Gong and Zhang have admitted to their wrongdoing and have already returned the money they won in prizes, which is the only thing that kept them from doing time behind bars.
Desperate to win the race, the 2 men decided to put their birds in milk cartons and have them travel by bullet train to the destination, instead of, you know, actually flying there. The one thing they didn’t consider was that getting to Shanghai by bullet train was faster than having the birds fly there, and this is why organizers became suspicious.
Otherwise, they planned their “crime” in advance. They raised their birds at 2 feeding stations, in Henan and Shanghai, to help them become accustomed to these locations. They were supposed to fly from Henan to Shanghai, over a distance of about 750 kilometres (450 miles).
When the race started, the 2 handed their birds to organizers in Henan, who set them free. Instead of flying to Shanghai, though, they went to another feeding point in the province, where they were neatly packed inside milk cartons. The men boarded the train with the cartons.
When the train arrived in Shanghai, the men set the birds free, just in time to fly to the finish line. Together, they won the first 4 top prizes, totaling more than 1 million yuan ($150,000).
The men were fined for cheating and for breaking the competition rule of using older pigeons than 1 year. If they commit any other crime, they go to prison for fraud, but otherwise, they’re looking at 4 years on probation.