From the AP via MSNBC:
The sudden death of a billionaire in southern China is causing police to ask: Was it murder by cat meat?Back in July Forbes looked at the health of Chinese tycoons:
Long Liyuan, 49, died on Dec. 23 in wealthy Guangdong province after sharing a dish of slow boiled cat meat stew, a southern delicacy, with two men over a business lunch.
One of the men, local official Huang Guang, was arrested by police on Friday on suspicion of poisoning the hotpot with a toxic herb. Police say Huang and Long had economic disputes.
Huang, deputy director of agriculture in Guangdong's Bajia township, is suspected of poisoning the hotpot with the herb Gelsemium elegans, according to a statement on the microblog of the investigating police. The poisonous plant is found in forests in parts of China.
All three men were sickened, but Long died because he consumed more of the herb, the statement said.
Long and Huang had met for lunch to discuss a business contract. Long, who ran a forestry company in Guangdong, wanted to lease a piece of woodland and develop it, the Nanfang Daily, the mouthpiece of the Guangdong Communist Party, reported Tuesday.
They had eaten at the hotpot restaurant before, but this time the cat meat dish tasted a little different, the report said....MORE
Friends Don't Let Friends Become Chinese Billionaires
I’m no statistics whiz, but it seems to me that a Chinese billionaire dies every 40 days.
China Daily reported Friday that unnatural deaths have taken the lives of 72 mainland billionaires over the past eight years. (Do the math.)
Which means that if you’re one of China’s 115 current billionaires, as listed on the 2011 Forbes Billionaires List, you should be more than a little nervous.
Mortality rate notwithstanding, what’s more disturbing is how these mega wealthy souls met their demise. According to China Daily, 15 were murdered, 17 committed suicide, seven died from accidents and 19 died from illness. Oh, yes, and 14 were executed. (Welcome to China.)
I don’t know about you but I find it somewhat improbable that among such a small population there could be so many “suicides,” “accidents” and “death by disease” (the average age of those who died from illness was only 48). I’m only speculating but the homicide toll could really be much higher....