SHIJIAZHUANG -- A gang leader in north China's Hebei Province was sentenced to life imprisonment along with 43 accomplices, a local court ruled on Wednesday.
Yang Shukuan, 38, who was arrested on March 19 last year, was tried in the Zhangjiakou City Intermediate Court.
The court found him guilty on multiple charges, including operating a criminal gang, intimidation, fraud, inciting violence, fighting in public and disorder. He was fined 500,000 yuan (about $70,000).
In addition, 43 others were sentenced to prison terms.
The court found Yang, who owned the Tangshan Huayun Industrial Group Co. Ltd., had swindled more than 60 million yuan from another company between 2005 and 2006.
He also operated a gang of ex-convicts and unemployed in Tangshan, about 200 kilometers from Beijing, between 2002 and September 2005. "They illegally possessed guns, ammunition and other firearms, persecuted ordinary citizens and seriously disrupted the local economic and social order," the court said.
Yang came into the public spotlight when photos of his armored car and other military vehicles and luxury cars were posted on the Internet last year.
Police sources said 17 vehicles, including four for special purposes, were confiscated.
Chinese law prohibits the illegal possession, production and trade of firearms and explosives.