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December 16, 2009

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Syndicate faces gang charges

TWENTY-TWO people suspected of involvement in a money laundering ring in Chongqing Municipality went on trial yesterday facing charges including conducting business with force, blackmail, organizing prostitution and running casinos.

The Chongqing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court heard the case, China News Service reported yesterday.

The suspected ring leader, Wang Xingqiang, is said to have started a syndicate in Chongqing's Beibei District in March 2000 by recruiting ex-convicts and unemployed people.

Wang's organization allegedly monopolized several industries in Beibei including the pork market, sand supply and construction waste transport.

They allegedly forced others to deal with them under threat of violence and resorted to force in contracting slaughter houses, setting up food companies, undertaking construction projects and building yards for construction waste, prosecutors said.

The trial is the latest move by Chongqing in its crackdown on organized crime.

A few days ago, mob boss Ran Guangguo was sentenced to 20 years in jail and fined 30,000 yuan (US$4,395).

Just the day before, Wang Tianlun, an alleged mob mastermind called the "Chongqing Butcher," stood trial for bribery, intentional injury and leading a gang that controlled the city's pork market.


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