Chinese tycoon brothers Liu Han and Liu Wei facing charges of running mafia-like gang [China.org]

[Shanghai Daily]

February 21, 2014

Two brothers, well-known business tycoons and philanthropists in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, have been accused of running a mafia-like gang that attacked and killed business rivals and bribed officials and police.

They are among 36 people being prosecuted yesterday on charges involving nine deaths.

Liu Han, 49, founder of the Hanlong Group, the biggest private company in Sichuan, and Liu Wei, 44, boss of Yiyuan Industrial Co Ltd based in Sichuan’s Guanghan City, are alleged to have been the gang’s kingpins.

The brothers are charged with 15 crimes, including leading mafia-type gangs, murders, operating casinos, illegally holding firearms and interfering with government affairs.

The gang’s alleged criminal activities, dating back to 1993, helped them amass 40 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion) in assets with businesses in finance, energy, real estate and mining, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

The gang was said to own a fleet of several hundred cars that included Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and Ferraris.

Prosecutors said the illegal activities dominated several industries and reaped huge profits, while bribes were paid to government officials for immunity.

Their business empire seemed well protected until a daylight shooting on a busy street in Guanghan in 2009.

Witnesses watched as a car drew up outside an open-air teahouse in downtown Guanghan and several men got out. More than 10 shots were fired before they got back in and the car sped away. Three people lay dead.

“It was so fast,” Xinhua quoted a witness as saying. “It was like watching a movie.”

One of the dead men was Chen Fuwei, leader of another criminal gang and said to have had a long-time grudge against Liu Wei.

In 2008, Chen was released from prison, threatening to take revenge on the Liu brothers. Liu Wei is said to have instructed two gang members to “get rid of Chen.”

The uproar that followed the shootings sent shock waves all the way to the central authorities.

Two suspects, Yuan Shaolin and Zhang Donghua, were soon captured and they had little hesitation in naming Liu Wei as the man behind the killings.

Liu Wei went into hiding, allegedly harbored by his brother, and he became a class-A man on China’s wanted list.

Both were detained in March last year…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.china.org.cn/wap/2014-02/21/content_31548497.htm

Also see: “Xinhua Insight: Details of suspected crimes by gangster-turned billionaire” — news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-02/20/c_133131218.htm

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