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'Godmother' of underworld in SW China gets 18 years in jail

Organized crime boss Xie Caiping, labeled the "godmother of the underworld" in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, was sentenced 18 years in prison Tuesday.

The other 21 people, including officials who offered protection to gang members, were given jail terms ranging from one to 13 years in sentences handed down at the Chongqing No. 5 Intermediate People’s Court.

Xie was convicted of organizing and leading a criminal organization, running gambling dens, illegal imprisonment, harboring people taking illegal narcotics and giving bribes to officials.

She was also fined 1.02 million yuan (US$149,430).

Since September 2004, her gang had made 2 million yuan (US$293,000) in illegal earnings by running more than 10 gambling dens and harboring those who took drugs, the court heard.

Guo Sheng and Gan Yong, two police officers convicted of taking bribes worth 180,000 yuan and protecting the gang, were sentenced to 13 years and 12 years in jail respectively.

Xie was the sister-in-law of Wen Qiang, formerly the second in command of the Chongqing police and director of the justice bureau before he was arrested.

Wen, who is alleged to have shielded criminal gangs, will be prosecuted in November in connection with the offences of rape, money laundering, disguising or concealing the proceeds of crime, illegally holding firearms, offering loans at high interest, forging official and enterprise seals, introducing women to prostitution and taking bribes.

Chongqing started a gang crackdown in June, exposing deep ties between police and criminals. Warrants have been issued for the arrest of more than 800 people, and 327 people have been prosecuted, said Chongqing's procuratorate.


 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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