China releases detained Canadian teacher Sarah McIver

Drug offences are routinely punished severely in China. — AFP pic

Another Canadian, a woman named Sarah McIver, was also being held for working illegally in China.

"Before she is going on trips, she makes sure everything is in order".

McIver was the third Canadian to be detained by China following the December 1 arrest in Vancouver of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, but a Canadian official said there was no reason to believe that the woman's detention was linked to the earlier arrests.

USA authorities claim Meng Wanzhou lied to US banks to get around sanctions against Iran asked to extradite the executive.

Both China and Canada have insisted McIver's case was different from Kovrig's and Spavor's.

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Meng was released on bail in Vancouver, where she is under private guard at one of the two homes she owns there.

The High People's Court in Liaoning province heard the appeal by the Canadian, whom it identified as Robert Lloyd Schellenberg.

According to a court statement published online after the appeal hearing, he was found guilty of drug smuggling and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, ordered to pay about $22,000 (150,000 yuan) and to be deported.

Canada's government said this week it had been following the case for several years and providing consular assistance, but could provide no other details, citing privacy concerns.

Four other Japanese were executed in China in 2010 for drugs offences.

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"Global Affairs can confirm that a Canadian citizen, who was detained in China this month, has been released and has now returned to Canada", spokesman Richard Walker said.

A Canadian national who was detained in China after authorities in Canada arrested the CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, has been released.

Last week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said McIver had received an "administrative penalty (for) illegal employment".

An official from the National Narcotic Control Committee said in March 2017 that the drug trafficking cases in China which involve foreigners has been increasing.

More news: China accuses Britain, EU of hypocrisy over support for Canada's detention concerns

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