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December 30, 2009

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Mob kingpins both receive death sentence

A MOB boss and his right-hand man in the deadliest crime ring of Chongqing City were sentenced to death yesterday.

Chen Zhiyi, the gang leader reported to have raped an underage girl to bring him good luck in poker games, received the death penalty from the Chongqing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court and was fined 30.61 million yuan (US$4.48 million) for organizing the mobsters.

Chen's main henchman, Yang Quan, was sentenced to death and fined 15 million yuan, China News Service reported yesterday.

Deng Yuping, a co-leader, was jailed for life and fined 36.19 million yuan.

The court said Deng was talked into joining the gang by Chen so he could use Deng's money and connections with local government officials.

The aim was to earn protection for the casino network Chen opened in luxury city hotels.

Cai Shuqing, a corrupt senior police officer who aided and abetted Chen when he escaped police during the city's crackdown on gangs that started in June, was sentenced to five years in prison.

The other 18 gang members who stood trial with Chen received penalties ranging from suspended death sentences to prison terms of up to two years.

The gang earned 30 million yuan from the casino network and high-interest loans to gamblers, the report said.

The gang members were found guilty of killing two people with a meat cleaver and stabbing another to death because they couldn't pay their gambling debts.

In the Chongqing No. 5 Intermediate People's Court, Li Qiang, a former lawmaker and billionaire in Chongqing, was jailed for 20 years and fined 5.2 million yuan for leading a gang that monopolized the city's transport business using violence and bribery.

Also yesterday, the Chongqing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court sentenced Wang Xingqiang, the boss of a money-laundering gang, to 20 years' jail and fined him 2.2 million yuan.

Wang started recruiting ex-convicts and unemployed people in 2000.

A former police officer, Su Yang, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for doing money laundering for Wang and providing protection.

Chongqing prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for more than 800 suspects in the municipality's crackdown on gang-related crime, and more than 320 people have been prosecuted.

At least 52 municipality officials have been investigated or penalized for shielding criminal gangs and other offenses.


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