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179 arrested in Hainan's largest mafia gang crackdown

(Xinhua)    08:57, February 21, 2019

HAIKOU, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- South China's Hainan has destroyed the largest mafia gang since the establishment of the province, the provincial public security department said Wednesday.

A total of 1,210 police officers and more than 300 vehicles were dispatched in an operation on Jan. 6, arresting 179 suspects, confiscating cash, vehicles, guns, knives, housing properties, land and forest, as well as freezing bank accounts, worth over 1.5 billion yuan (220 million U.S. dollars), deputy head of the department Liu Haizhi said.

Another 54 suspects are still at large.

The authorities said it was the largest gang crackdown in the province's history in terms of number of suspects, police involved and social influence.

According to the investigation, the gang, led by Huang Hongfa and his family, had been recruiting members since 1980s for illegal operation of underground casinos and collection of protection fees.

The gang became involved in industries including mining, transport, waste recycling, fruit and vegetable wholesale, and linen washing as its "social status" rose, and has monopolized many local sectors since 2003.

The gang began to launder its properties by investing in more industries, making huge profits from 2013.

The authorities said further investigation was underway with the assistance from market inspection and management, audit, tax, banking and securities regulatory authorities.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Sheng Chuyi, Bianji)

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