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'Chonqing Butcher' gets death with reprieve

A MOB master called the "Chongqing Butcher" was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve today with a 100 million yuan (US$16.64 million) fine for leading a mafia-like gang that controlled the city's pork market with violence and bribery.

Chongqing No.5 Intermediate People's Court sentenced Wang Tianlun, 43, today, the latest move of the crackdown in the southwest city that has exposed widespread government and police involvement in "black societies."

One of Wang's henchmen Tang Youbing was also given a suspended death sentence for intentional injury and taking part in Wang's criminal gang.

Another 21 gang members who stood trial with Wang were jailed for between one and 20 years.

According to the indictment, Wang's company controlled almost half of the city's pork market for over 10 years by means of extortion, violence and bribes. He owned Chongqing Jinpu Food Company, the best-equipped slaughterhouse in southwestern China.

Wang started his gang in 1996 with his brother Wang Dongmin and brother-in-law Li Canghai. They used violence to make most of the farmers in Chongqing send their pigs to his slaughterhouse, the court heard.

Almost half of Chongqing's pork sellers were forced to buy pork from Wang's company and he pulled millions from the trade.

The court also said that Wang ordered his gang members to club to death a butcher surnamed Pan because he killed his own pigs in 2003.

The city's former deputy police chief and justice bureau director Wen Qiang confessed Wang offered him 200,000 yuan to help make the murder case go away. The case was successfully hidden for two years after he took the money.


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