Five gangsters get death sentence

09:06, December 08, 2009      

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Death sentences were handed down Monday for the leader of a mafia-style gang, Jiang Jiatian, and four gangsters of his organization based in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province.

All 41 members of the organization, who used to disrupt social order in at least three villages in the suburbs of Kunming, were found guilty by a local court of 11 crimes, including leading or participating in mafia-style gangs, drug trafficking, racketeering, fraud and selling counterfeit currency.

As part of a nationwide police campaign to crack down on criminal gangs since 2006, authorities in Kunming had reportedly detained 7,414 suspects and dismantled 1,459 gangs in 2009.

Several of a group of 41 members of an organized crime syndicate in the Yunnan provincial capital of Kunming get the death penalty in the Intermediate People's Court yesterday. [Zhang Yongqiang]

Among those were three mafia-style gangs and 61 less- sophisticated violent criminal gangs, a report on the website of the Supreme People's Court showed.

"In Kunming, there will be no criminal forces that cannot be spotted, cracked down on and dismantled," Hai Wenda, Party secretary of the city's politics and law committee, was quoted by the report as saying.

Hai's vow is almost identical to what his counterpart from Chongqing municipality, Liu Guanglei, had pledged amid Chongqing's massive sweep of organized gangs and officials protecting them.

Monday, the Kunming Intermediate People's Court gave death sentences to the local gang boss Jiang, 56; his mistress Yang Jufen; Yang's father Yang Guoying; and Xie Mingxiang, another key member of the organization.

Li Wencai, a woman who played a leading role in the gang's drug trafficking business, got a death sentence with a two-year reprieve.

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The other 36 members of the gang received jail terms ranging from 18 months to life.

A court spokesman said ringleader Jiang made a fortune from drug trafficking in the mid-1990s and had invested his illicit income in at least 10 teahouses, Internet cafes and hotels in the provincial capital.

Almost all his businesses turned out to be dens for prostitution, extortion, racketeering, and sales of drugs and counterfeit banknotes, the spokesman said.

Jiang engaged relatives and friends in his gang, he said. Most of them were jobless and a number of them were ex-convicts.

The gang had disrupted social order in at least three villages in the suburbs of Kunming, and many villagers wrote to local governments complaining they felt "unsafe".

A number of residents said they were forced to pay up to 1,000 yuan for a pot of tea at Jiang's teahouses, under threat of violence.

Many also complained they were given fake banknotes in change, and that they were beaten up when they protested, the spokesman said.

The trial began in late September, one year after cardinal members of the gang were arrested.

China Daily-Xinhua

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