An organized crime boss was given a suspended death sentence and 60 other members of three gangs have been jailed for up to 20 years in three separate cases in Chinese courts.
A gang in Kaifeng City, central China's Henan Province, was found to have used violence and threats to monopolize the sand quarrying business, robbing staff and setting up illegal toll gates since 1999.
Sanmenxia Intermediate People's Court heard the gang's activities had seriously affected the local economy and social stability.
Gang leader Yue Chongdong was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve and 13 others were sentenced to prison for four to 20 years.
Twenty-seven members of an organized crime ring had operated in Jinzhou City, northeast China's Liaoning Province, since 1995, Tieling Intermediate People's Court heard.
The gang collected more than 20 million yuan (2.56 million U.S. dollars) by gambling, extorting and kidnapping and ransom demands, while bribing local officials to seek protection.
Gang boss Dong Baojun was fined one million yuan and sentenced to 20 years in prison, while the other members received jail terms from 12 months to 14 years.
The third gang of 21 members was sentenced at Tongling Intermediate People's Court in Tongling City of east China's Anhui Province. Headed by a man called Wu Duanzhi, they used force to obtain contracts to operate copper mines since 1996, and assault with deadly weapons.
Wu was jailed for 20 years and fined six million yuan. The other 19 members were sentenced from 10 months to 13 years.
China's law enforcement authorities had been taking a "firm hand" on organized crime and would maintain the "high pressure" over such crime, said a spokesman of the Supreme People's Court.