Sixteen years ago, Zhang Liwei and his associates killed three people in a nightclub in Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province. Somehow, he evaded police capture and escaped to Anhui Province.
A contact within the national security was able to provide Zhang with a resident permit in Anhui, which allowed him to hide in various temples. He eventually settled in Longxing Temple. He shaved his head and pretended to be a Buddhist monk named “Guangwen.”
Zhang was at first a low level monk, who largely swept the temple, but he got along well with his fellow monks, and more importantly, he possessed useful management skills. He was soon promoted to be the manager of the temple, and received a master room.
He was eventually put in charge of the temple, and in 2007 was elected as a Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) member. He established his residency at Sun Hongtao in Anhui. In 2016, he was elected president of the Buddhist Association of Fengyang County.
The monks of Longxing Temple appreciated his efforts to improve their living conditions. Zhang also supported two poor orphans. When Zhang Liwei applied for a passport to travel abroad and submitted his fingerprints, the police found that he was a wanted man from 16 years ago.
When the police took Zhang into custody on August 10, he didn’t put up any resistance, and maintained a calm expression throughout his arrest. He wore a white shirt, yellow robe, and simple pants.
Zhang admitted his true identity and past crimes to the police. The monks of the temple knew very little about Zhang’s past. They only knew that he came from the Northeast, never returned home, and did not have any contact with family members. To their surprise, the plump monk turned out to be a murder fugitive!
There was a smaller temple next to Longxing Temple. The old master was a woman who did not know that Zhang was arrested. After she heard the news, she sighed and said: “If he wanted to repent, then he should have turned himself in.”
Translation edited by David Clapp.