Did he or did she? Transvestites on trial for Shanghai theft

Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:36am EDT
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SHANGHAI (Reuters Life!) - Five Filipino transvestites have gone on trial in Shanghai, accused of drugging men with adulterated foods before robbing them in a city with a reputation for an adventurous nightlife.

Prosecutors told a Shanghai court on Tuesday the five men "dressed as women and, after leading the victims into taxis or hotel rooms, induced them to eat chocolate and other foods laced with sleeping drugs," the Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

The men then robbed their victims, taking mobile phones, credit cards, and a Rolex watch. They then uses the cards to buy perfume and gold, the prosecutors said.

The five men aged from 26 to 30 were accused of committing the crimes three times from late last year to February, and were detained by police in March. Local newspaper reports said the goods stolen were worth 340,000 yuan ($49,780).

The men pleaded guilty to the charges, and "expressed remorse for the victims, the Chinese government, their own country and their families," added the Legal Daily.

The court will give a verdict at a later date, the news reports said.

(Writing by Chris Buckley; Editing by Ben Blanchard and Miral Fahmy)