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October 20, 2009

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Death sentence upheld for crime boss

A MAN convicted of operating an organized crime ring and causing two deaths lost his appeal against the death penalty in Guangdong Province.

The Guangdong Higher People's Court upheld the death penalty for Feng Zhixi, a native of Guangzhou, the province's capital.

He and his younger brother Feng Zhizhao were sentenced to death last year for creating a crime organization called the "Black Dragon Society." Through extortion and false promises, the Feng brothers recruited more than 100 people to join the society, many members were middle school students.

Members of the organized crime ring often visited entertainment venues in the city's Baiyun District to stir up trouble and then to levy protection fees, or blackmail others by taking advantage of negotiating disputes on their behalf.

In November 2005, the Feng brothers led members of their organized crime ring to besiege the village affairs committee of Dagangling Village. They forced the committee leader to write a pledge that all bidding on construction projects in the village be canceled, and such contracts could only go to engineering teams owned by the Feng brothers. The two brothers obtained 180,000 yuan (US$26,000) for building roads and drainage works in the village.

On June 4, 2006, the Feng brothers led people to beat two migrant workers to death, suspecting that the latter two had stolen a DVD player from the society's headquarters.

The Black Dragon Society soon fell apart after another member who participated in the beatings surrendered to police.

The Fengs and other society members were also convicted of robbery and illegal possession of weapons charges.


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