259m yuan in assets frozen as crime cartel tied to ex-police boss is raided

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 December, 2010, 12:00am

Provincial-level law enforcement authorities have frozen 259 million yuan (HK$302 million) in illicit funds after raiding an underworld syndicate with apparent ties to a former police-department head in Yangquan, Shanxi .

Guan Jianjun, a former department chief in the downtown district police bureau, will stand trial along with 44 accomplices over alleged gang-related crimes as well as intentional assault and organised disruption of a state institution, CNR.cn reported yesterday.

Quoting an official who oversees crackdowns on police corruption, the state-run radio network said Ding Fuguang, the police chief in Pingding county, and Liang Huakui, a deputy municipal police chief, are also under investigation over their links to this syndicate.

The arrest of Guan has shed more light on rampant collusion between police and local crime syndicates on the mainland, which threatens the legitimacy of the Communist Party's grip on power.

Guan - who entered the police force in 1988 apparently with the help of his father, then a deputy district chief in Yangquan - rose through the ranks and became a department director in 2000.

Guan and his brother, Guan Jianmin, and other associates allegedly set up more than 10 casinos, which are illegal on the mainland, between 1997 and 2002.

From 2004, he extended his influence to the lucrative mining industry in Shanxi - a coal-rich province - acquiring seven mines using underworld tactics.

More than 200 of his associates stormed the city government compound twice in 2008 in a bid to press the judicial departments to rule in their favour in a mining dispute.

Investigators said they had found illegal assets worth 259.4 million yuan that Guan and associates had amassed in the past 10 years, including 27 properties in Beijing.

Deep pockets

The number of Beijing properties that police say the syndicate owns is: 27