The head of a criminal gang, surnamed Wu, was sentenced to 21 years in prison in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Friday.
Guangzhou Huangpu District People’s Court also fined Wu a total of 925,000 yuan ($142,300), according to the verdict, which was published on the court’s official website.
Wu was convicted of organizing mafia-style gangs, offering bribes to officials and illegally owning and trading weapons in the wake of a weeklong public hearing that ended on Friday.
Another 30 members of Wu’s criminal gang were sentenced to between two years and seven months to 17 years and four months behind bars.
Wu and his gang were investigated for illegally opening underground casinos, organizing gambling, loan sharking, using violence to force trade, monopolizing local markets and illegally collecting protection fees from local business people and villagers in Nancun township in Panyu district since 2010, according to the verdict published on Friday.
Meanwhile, Wu was also found to have illegally used his power to control land transfers in his village to earn huge profits when he was captain of the village production team, damaging the local economy and social order, the verdict said.
Wu bribed local Party and government officials to seek “protective umbrellas”, according to the verdict.