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November 28, 2009

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Gang boss executed as sentence is upheld

A GANG leader was executed in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on Thursday after being convicted of organizing a crime ring that killed one person and injured eight others over the past 10 years.

Chen Ming, 36, from Rongchang County in the suburbs of Chongqing, was the first to receive the death penalty in the city's crackdown on organized crime.

The No.5 Intermediate People's Court in Chongqing sentenced Chen to death in July 2008. The Supreme People's Court approved the death penalty on Thursday.

Penalties for the other 13 members of Chen's ring ranged from three years in jail to a suspended death sentence.

Members of the ring were also convicted of fraud, racketeering, drug trafficking and illegally running casinos in villages in Rongchang County, a court spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the Chongqing Municipal People's Congress, the city's lawmaking body, yesterday decided to remove four deputies allegedly involved in organized crime.

They were Peng Changjian, Chongqing's former deputy public security chief, Chen Honggang, former head of the city's traffic police, Xu Qiang, former police chief in Dianjiang County, and businessman Li Qiang.

Peng and Xu have been arrested on charges of concealing organized criminal activities. Chen Honggang is still under investigation.

Li was tried at a Chongqing court last month on charges of organizing and leading criminal gangs, disrupting public transportation, disturbing public order, concealing account books, bribery and tax evasion. The court is yet to hand down a ruling.

A spokesman for the municipal procuratorate said 700 people had been arrested this year in connection with gang-related crimes in Chongqing.


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