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31 on gang crime trial in Chongqing

Thirty-one people went on trial today on charges of gang-related crimes in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

The trial, which is expected to last 5 days at the Chongqing No. 5 Intermediate People's Court, is one of a series of organized crime trials resulting from investigations into 14 alleged mafia-style gangs in Chongqing.

Li Qiang, a rich businessman and former deputy to the Chongqing Municipal People's Congress, who was said to be chief of the gang, faced nine charges including organizing and leading mafia-style gangs, disrupting public transportation, disturbing social order, concealing account books, bribery and tax evasion.

Li, handcuffed and wearing bright orange vest coded 01, had four companies under his name and controlled more than 100 bus routes in Chongqing. The four companies, mainly on transportation business and real estate, were also charged with illegal operation and tax evasion.

Another 20 suspects, who were allegedly gang members, were charged with crimes of participating in mafia-style organizations, disrupting public transportation and murder.

Three civil servants were among the accused on charges of harboring Li's gang-related crimes and taking bribes.

The officials were Xiao Qinglong, director of Communication and Transportation Administration of Shapingba District of Chongqing, Jiang Hong, director of the Road Transport Administration of BananDistrict of Chongqing and Jiang Chunyan, director of a complaints office under the Chongqing municipal government.

Seven other suspects were charged with crimes of concealing account books, disrupting public transportation, disturbing public order and illegal operation.


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