China's wanted Li brothers lose Canada ruling

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sep 21 (Reuters) Two fugitive brothers accused of embezzling millions of dollars from the Bank of China <601988.SS> lost a court ruling today in their bid to avoid deportation from Canada.

A Federal Court judge rejected a request by Li Dongzhe and Li Donghu for a court review after Canadian immigration officials refused to let them apply for refugee status. The men were arrested in Vancouver in February.

Immigration officials refused the refugee application because the men had overstayed their entry visas and were in the country illegally when they made it. The brothers argued they had not been given proper warning.

Chinese police accused the Li brothers in 2005 of embezzling more than 170 million yuan (23 million dollar) that is alleged to have disappeared from corporate accounts from the Bank of China.

The brothers fled to Vancouver on New Year's Eve 2004, a few weeks before they were charged by Chinese police, and went into hiding, according to Canadian officials.

The men were arrested on February. 23 this year at a high-end downtown Vancouver hotel, a week after Canadian authorities also detained Bank of China senior manager Gao Shan near Vancouver at the request of China.

REUTERS AK PM0155

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