The fugitive at the center of a 12-year extradition court battle in Canada was returned Saturday to China, where he is accused of running a $10 billion smuggling ring that dealt in everything from cars to oil in a scandal touching the government’s highest levels.

Lai Changxing, 52, who was flown into Beijing from Vancouver, is expected to face charges for bribery, smuggling and tax evasion. He will not face the death penalty — as other people connected with him have — in an assurance China gave to Canada to convince courts to extradite him.