China / Society

Mine tycoon, mafia-like ganglord brothers sentenced to death

By An Baijie ( Updated: 2014-05-23 10:15

Mine tycoon, mafia-like ganglord brothers sentenced to death
Former mining tycoon Liu Han sits in a Chinese court in central China's Hubei Province on May 23, 2014. [Photo/CCTV]
Related reading: Chinese tycoon Liu Han's Australian faces

Two brothers in Southwest China's Sichuan province received death sentences on Friday after being found guilty of multiple charges, including murder and leading mafia-like gangs.

Mine tycoon, mafia-like ganglord brothers sentenced to death

Mafia-style gang stands trial in central China

Liu Han and Liu Wei, who were tried with other 34 suspects for 17 days since March 31, were sentenced to death by Xianning Intermediate People's Court in Central China's Hubei province, according to a report of China Central Television.

It remains unclear whether they will appeal or not.

Liu Han, 49, once ranked the 230th richest person in China, denied all the charges during the trial, and he only admitted meeting with Liu Wei after the latter became a suspect in a shooting case in which three people died in 2009.

He said he knew nothing about the allegations of covering up for a criminal at that time.

Prosecutors allege that from 1997 when Liu Han and Sun Xiaodong set up the Hanlong Group in Mianyang, the pair cooperated with Liu Wei, Liu Han's younger brother, in recruiting a gang of thugs, and that the group gradually developed into a "relatively stable" criminal organization.

Mafia charges

Liu Han was board chairman of the Hanlong Group, the biggest private enterprise in Sichuan. He owned tens of subsidiary companies involved in electricity, energy, finance, mining, real estate and securities.

From 1993, Liu Han, Liu Wei and Sun Xiaodong, who is being dealt with in a separate case, made their money running gambling dens and dealing in construction materials and futures in Sichuan's cities of Guanghan and Chengdu as well as Shanghai and Chongqing, according to a prosecutors' statement released when the trials began on March 31.

From 1997, when Liu Han and Sun Xiaodong set up the Hanlong Group in Mianyang, the two cooperated with Liu Wei in recruiting a gang of thugs, and the group gradually developed in to a relatively stable criminal organization. The organization had ten steady members and another 20 followers. Liu Han, Liu Wei and Sun were the organizers and leaders of the group.

The group boasted a clear division of labor with Liu Han responsible for commanding the group and decision making, Sun implementing Liu's instructions and managing Hanlong's daily operations, and Liu Wei leading the hatchet men or "bodyguards". The group made tremendous financial gains through organized crime and became an economic force to be reckoned with.

They planned and committed murders and assaults; locked up their enemies; took part in extortion, illegal trade and possession of guns; and tyrannized local people, the statement said. Earlier reports quoted Liu Han as saying that he was "unaware (of the crimes)", "irrelevant (to the activities)" and "not organizing or leading criminal organizations".

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