LhasaASA - The head of a 12-member organized crime ring in eastern Tibet has been sentenced to 18 years behind bars and fined 2,000 yuan.
The Intermediate People's Court of Nyingchi Prefecture found Long Desheng guilty of six crimes, including leading the mafia-style crime ring, gambling and possession of weapons and ammunition.
The court heard that from 2002, Long, a 40-year-old native of Gaoping District, Nanchong City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, colluded with 11 others, including Li Shimin and Zhou Shuangmin, and committed violent criminal acts in order to accumulate wealth in Nyingchi Prefecture.
The crime clique ran gambling operations at local hotels, bars in Bayi township and took profits made from gambling, the court was told.
Long participated in, or instructed, the gang members to stir up trouble and start fights in public places and carry out extortion around the prefecture.
"The crime ring led by Long caused a host of troubles and has seriously disturbed social and economic order in Nyingchi Prefecture, exerting a very bad impact on society," said an official from the Leading Office of Tibet Autonomous Region for Organized Crime Control and Evil Forces Eradication.
In accordance with the same court ruling, Li Shimin and Zhou Shuanglin, two other key members on Long's organized crime ring, who have also been found guilty of participating in mafia-style crimes and gambling, were sentenced to jail terms of 15 years and eight years, plus fines.
Other lesser members of the crime ring have been imprisoned for three to five years.
Local police destroyed eight mafia-styled organizations and six other criminal operations in Tibet last year, detaining 142 suspects and dealing with 711 criminal cases, according to the local authorities.