Former lawmaker, tycoon stands trial in China mob crackdown

16:04, December 24, 2009      

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A former lawmaker and business tycoon in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality stood trial Thursday on charges of organizing a criminal gang, court authorities said.

Chen Mingliang, 52, was a deputy to the People's Congress in Chongqing's Yuzhong District, the local legislature, before he was arrested in June.

The former president of Chongqing Jiangzhou Industrial Group was accused of organizing a 34-member gang that ran a brothel at a downtown Chongqing hotel, trafficking at least 16,000 grams of narcotics and organizing illegal gambling tours to Macao, said an official with the Third Intermediate People's Court of Chongqing.

He said the trial would last about eight days.

Chen and two other Chongqing-based business tycoons, Ma Dang and Lei Deming, jointly set up a brothel at Ma's hotel in 2001, a business that employed dozens of former convicts and jobless people and took at least 26 million yuan (3.8 million U.S. dollars) of illicit income, the prosecution said.

It said the gang also made more than 58 million Hong Kong dollars by helping dozens of private business owners arrange gambling tours to Macao.

The ringleaders bribed local officials, including four former public security chiefs and a court official, into harboring their criminal acts, the prosecution said.

Several gang members were accused of intentionally injuring and illegally detaining people while armed with firearms and knives.

Source: Xinhua
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