China deports UK GSK investigator Peter Humphrey and wife

Couple leaving court in police car, 8 Aug 14 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Peter Humphrey and Yu Yingzeng were convicted in China last August

A British corporate investigator and his wife have been deported from China after being jailed for trafficking personal data, family and friends say.

Peter Humphrey and Yu Yingzeng had boarded a flight from Shanghai bound for the UK, their son said.

They were jailed last August as part of the GlaxoSmithKline corruption scandal.

Peter Humphrey was released early on health grounds on 9 June. Yu Yingzeng, a Chinese-born US citizen, was freed two days later.

She had a month of her two-year sentence to serve. He had seven more months of his two-and-a-half year term remaining.

Time served in custody had been taken into account.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The court released an image of proceedings showing Peter Humphrey (2L) and Yu Yingzeng (in red)

The couple called their son Harvey in the UK just before boarding the flight from Shanghai to London.

Harvey told family friends that his father said he was looking forward to seeing him and his mother was very emotional.

"I am extremely glad that this ordeal will be over by this afternoon," their son said.

The couple were detained after helping GSK investigate a secretly filmed sex tape of its then top manager in China.

GSK was fined £300m ($465m) by the Chinese authorities for bribes to hospitals and officials in an attempt to boost sales.

The couple were found guilty of illegally obtaining Chinese citizens' data and selling it to firms including GSK China.

They both admitted buying background information, but said they did not realise this was illegal.

How the case unfolded:

  • January 2013: Email alleging bribery sent to GSK boss, followed in March by sex tape featuring China chief Mark Reilly
  • April 2013: Peter Humphrey's company ChinaWhys hired to investigate
  • June 2013: Mr Humphrey delivers his report to GSK
  • July 2013: China announces investigation into GSK China, police detain four Chinese GSK employees
  • August 2013: Mr Humphrey and his wife arrested for allegedly buying and selling personal information
  • May 2014: Chinese authorities accuse Mr Reilly of overseeing bribery network
  • August 2014: Mr Humphrey and his wife go on trial and are convicted
  • June 2015: Peter Humphrey and Yu Yingzeng are freed early from prison

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