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February 25, 2010

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Life in jail for former top officer

A FORMER senior police official in Chongqing City was jailed for life yesterday for conniving with the city's notorious crime rings and taking 4.71 million yuan (US$690,000) in bribes.

Chongqing No.1 Intermediate People's Court said Peng Changjian, 47, former deputy director of the city's public security bureau, was one of the major protective umbrellas of the city's gangs.

Peng was found guilty of bribery, protecting criminals and possession of 4.67 million yuan worth of unaccountable property and assets.

The court fined him 500,000 yuan and recovered all bribery money and assets.

The bribes included some he took from his subordinates who sought promotion, the court said.

Peng was sobbing when the sentence was handed down.

He said he regretted that he took the bribes but denied the charges of protecting gangs.

Prosecutors said in previous trials that Peng provided protection for Ma Dang, Yue Ning, and Wang Xiaojun, who were accused of running criminal rings and prostitution dens.

He argued in the 10-hour trial two weeks ago that he received the money only for socializing, because the people who offered bribes asked for nothing and he gave no preferential treatment.

Peng said the three nightclubs of Ma, Yue, and Wang went unchecked during his tenure because he was only being cautious in police law enforcement.

Peng has been a police officer for more than 27 years.

He was promoted to become the deputy police director by Wen Qiang, the city's former police chief who is awaiting sentence on charges of rape, corruption and protecting gangs, because of his good work performance.

But Peng's acquaintance with the three mob bosses dated back to 1997 when he was a deputy police chief in the city's Yuzhong District, the court heard.

The court said Peng and his former boss Wen were part of the reason that Chongqing's heinous underworld crime had become out of control.


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