18 mafia leaders jailed in China

Beijing, May 31 (IANS) Eighteen mafia leaders were sentenced to jail Monday in a sweeping crackdown on organised crime in China’s Chongqing region, a court said.

The Rongchang County People’s Court sentenced ringleader Xia Ping to 20 years in prison after convicting her of leading a mafia ring, gambling, extortion, robbery and illegal gun possession, Xinhua reported.

Xia was also fined 2.1 million yuan ($307,520) and deprived of her political rights for two years. Seventeen other ring members were sentenced to one to 18 years in prison.

Xia and another mafia leader, Leng Mingquan, opened a casino in 2004 and recruited more than 30 members, the court said.