Chinese Students: MAN, 30, CHARGED WITH DOUBLE MURDER
A 30 year-old man named as Guang Hui Cao, of Morpeth, Northumbria, has been charged with the double murder of the two Chinese ex-Newcastle University students found brutally murdered after being tortured in their flat earlier this year, Newcastle police have announced tonight. - Update 25th Oct 2008
Northumbria Police said Guang Hui Cao, of Castle Close, Morpeth, had been charged with murdering Xi Zhou and her boyfriend, Zhen Xing Yang.
The couple, both aged 25, were found dead in their ground-floor flat in Croydon Road, Newcastle, in August.
Guang Hui Cao is due to appear before magistrates in the city on Monday.
The couple's bodies were found shortly after 4.30pm on August 9 after officers from Northumbria Police were called to their flat at 8 Croydon Road.
SEVENTEEN people have been arrested in connection with the deaths of Chinese students, Xi Zhou and Zhen Xing Yang, both 25. The pair had been tortured and their cat drowned in a sink, in a brutal killing that shocked the Newcastle University student community.
Three of the men arrested are under suspicion of murder and the others of more minor related crimes. The men were arrested at different addresses in Northumbria and are aged 22, 30 and 33.
Police suspected at the time of the executions that the deaths may have been linked to an internet betting and visa scam which the couple were involved in, and that they may have been the victims of organised crime syndicate members from China, jealous of having their territory breached.
The men, aged 22, 30 and 33, were arrested at separate addresses, Northumbria Police said.
Xi Zhou and Zhen Xing Yang, both 25, were found dead on August 9 in their flat in the city of Newcastle.
Officers believe Zhen may have been tortured for up to an hour before his death.
"Searches... are currently being carried out and those arrested are being questioned throughout today," Detective Superintendent Steve Wade, who is leading the inquiry, said.
"It is early stages and we have a lot of work to do but this is a positive development.
"Both families (of the victims) have been informed of these developments."
A total of 13 people were also arrested on suspicion of more minor offences. Of these, nine were detained over alleged conspiracy to commit burglary, while three were held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit immigration offences.
Another man was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.