Chongqing official jailed 20 yrs for gang crime

Updated: 2009-12-29 22:31
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CHONGQING: A former municipal lawmaker was sentenced to 20 years in jail Tuesday for gang crimes at a court in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

Li Qiang, who owns more than 20 companies, was sentenced on charges of seven crimes including organizing a criminal gang, disturbing public order, disturbing traffic order, illegal business, bribery and hiding accounting documents, the Fifth Intermediate People's Court of Chongqing ruled after the first trial.

Li was also fined 5.2 million yuan (US$765,000) at the court.

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Of the other 30 members of the gang, 25 received sentences ranging from one to 18 years.

Li Qiang founded the Chongqing Yuqiang Group Co. Ltd. in July 1996 and later had more than 20 companies under the group, based on which he formed his mafia-like gang gradually since 2000.

To enlarge his company's share of the Chongqing transportation market, Li had allegedly organized gang members to disturb the traffic order and caused traffic jams. Police and drivers from other companies had been injured by the gang. More than 55 buses were illegally put into use in the city and the illegal business volume was estimated to be 18.4 million yuan (US$2.7 million).

Li was also accused of bribing governmental officials for protection.

Sentences for another two gang crime cases were also announced Tuesday in Chongqing.

Two members of a gang, including ringleader Chen Zhiyi and a member named Yang Quan, were sentenced to death. Another two members Feng Hulin and Xie Yu were sentenced to suspended death penalty at the Second Intermediate People's Court of Chongqing after first trial.

Chen and Yang were also fined 30.6 million yuan (US$4.5 million) and 15 million yuan (US$2.2 million) respectively.

Another leader of the gang named Deng Yuping was sentenced to life imprisonment and fined 31.9 million yuan (US$4.7 million).

According to the court, the gang began to form in 2001 and were involved in gambling business.

The defendants were on charges of organizing a mafia-like gang, intentional injuries, illegally buying and selling guns and ammunition, illegally detention and statutory rape.

A money laundering gang led by Wang Xingqiang was sentenced at the First Intermediate People's Court of Chongqing after first trial.

Wang was sentenced to 20 years jail and fined 2.2 million yuan (US$323,500) on charges of six crimes, including organizing mafia-like gang, extortion, organizing prostitution, intentional injuries, and destroying accounting documents.

The other 20 members of the gang were sentenced to one to 16 years in jail. A former police officer named Su Yang was sentenced to three years and six months in jail and fined 170,000 yuan (US$25,000) for covering up the gang.

Chongqing municipal government officials said mafia-style organizations influenced the full spectrum of business in Chongqing. A total of 52 officials have been prosecuted during the crackdown, including 10 high-ranking officials.

Nationwide, law enforcement agencies have detained 89,000 people suspected of being members of 13,000 criminal organizations, and involving 108,000 criminal cases, since the launch of a national crack down on gang-related crimes in 2006, according to China's Ministry of Public Security.