Luxury Heist and Murder: Chinese Criminal Couple Sentenced in Paris

Luxury Heist and Murder: Chinese Criminal Couple Sentenced in Paris

Xiaoling Qian
3 min read

Chinese Criminal Masterminds Jailed in Paris

On June 7, 2024, the notorious Chinese couple, Zhang Yi and Kong Jingwen, were sentenced in a Paris court for their involvement in a string of organized crimes. The couple, who had cunningly embedded themselves within the French-Chinese community as luxury goods resellers, were found guilty of orchestrating a high-profile robbery of luxury items from the Chinese delivery company, Penguin Express.

Zhang Yi was handed a five-year prison sentence with a two-year probation, while Kong Jingwen faced immediate imprisonment and the couple was ordered to compensate the victims for all their losses. Despite their attempts to escape justice by collaborating with local criminals and posing as informants for the French police, their deeds were finally unveiled.

The couple's criminal activities involved an elaborate scheme where they teamed up with Penguin Express to sell luxury goods to customers. Once the goods were shipped, Zhang and Kong would rob the delivery truck, effectively reclaiming the goods and keeping both the merchandise and the payment. This meticulous plan included Kong pretending to be a victim whose Hermes bag had been stolen, using a hidden GPS tracker to follow the Penguin Express delivery truck and orchestrate the robbery.

The courtroom drama reached a climax when the defense lawyer revealed that Zhang and Kong had been acting as informants for the police for several years. This double life had given them a false sense of invulnerability, leading them to continue their criminal activities brazenly.

In addition to their involvement in the Penguin Express heist, Zhang Yi and Kong Jingwen were also linked to the murder of a young Chinese man, Xiatong Lin, in Paris's 16th arrondissement in 2023. This brutal crime was driven by the motive to steal luxury goods, with the perpetrators tying up and strangling Lin in his apartment.

Key Takeaways

  1. Criminal Masterminds Unmasked: Zhang Yi and Kong Jingwen, posing as luxury goods resellers, masterminded the robbery of Penguin Express and were key players in an organized crime ring.
  2. Legal Consequences: Zhang received a five-year sentence with two years probation, while Kong faced immediate imprisonment, both ordered to compensate their victims.
  3. Double Agents: The couple acted as informants for the French police, believing this would shield them from prosecution, a strategy that ultimately failed.
  4. Methodical Deception: Kong's pretense as a theft victim to plant a GPS tracker on the delivery truck exemplifies their meticulous and deceitful planning.
  5. Murder Involvement: Zhang and Kong were also connected to the murder of Xiatong Lin in 2023, a crime motivated by the theft of luxury goods.


The case of Zhang Yi and Kong Jingwen is a stark reminder of how deeply organized crime can infiltrate society, using deception and manipulation to operate under the radar. Their dual roles as both informants and criminals highlight a complex relationship with law enforcement, where their cooperation was leveraged for leniency that allowed them to continue their criminal enterprises.

Their criminal activities were not limited to theft and robbery. They were also implicated in the murder of Xiatong Lin, a young Chinese man in Paris's 16th arrondissement. This murder, driven by the motive to steal luxury goods, reveals the brutal and violent lengths to which the couple would go to achieve their ends.

Additionally, Kong Jingwen's history of illegal residency and involvement in prostitution and pimping adds another layer of criminality. Their network included collaboration with international criminals, further complicating the scope of their crimes. Despite their informant status, their increasing brazenness and the severity of their crimes eventually led to their downfall.

Did You Know?

  • Previous Connections: The criminal gang that collaborated with Zhang and Kong on the Penguin Express heist was the same group involved in the tragic murder of Chinese student Xiatong Lin in Paris.
  • Lavish Lifestyles: Despite their criminal background, the couple maintained a public persona of luxury and wealth, frequently posting on Chinese social media about their lavish lifestyle and travels.
  • Psychological Resilience: Kong Jingwen continued to project an image of normalcy and even arrogance, updating her social media with luxury goods and travel posts, even after her husband's sentencing.
  • Historical Criminal Record: Kong had a prior record for organizing prostitution and money laundering, further demonstrating the couple's extensive and varied criminal history.

The sentencing of Zhang Yi and Kong Jingwen marks a significant victory for law enforcement and serves as a deterrent for other criminal enterprises operating under similar guises. It underscores the importance of vigilance and thorough investigation in uncovering and dismantling organized crime networks.

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