Triads and mobsters have grown to become so powerful that they are threatening normal operation of the administration, a senior judicial official said yesterday. Deputy President of the Supreme People's Court, Liu Jiachen , condemned the criminals and pledged to take forceful action against them. 'At present, there are some well organised criminal syndicates,' said Mr Liu. 'They work in unison and have been running things for a long time in some areas. 'They have formed an evil force [and operate] like triads of the underworld. They are seriously affecting the normal operation of our government and party units and administration,' Mr Liu was quoted by Xinhua (the New China News Agency) as saying. 'These gangsters will be the target of the next stage of our Strike Hard anti-crime campaign,' he said. Mr Liu's yesterday also announced the execution of five criminals in Henan, Fujian and Shaanxi provinces recently, a despatch from the official Xinhua reported. The report did not give details of their crimes but only described the five criminals as 'hooligans, murderers, thieves and fugitives' who all deserved their punishments. The five were identified as ringleaders He Changli, Fan Bingzhang, Yan Yaguang, Guo Muzhang and Guo Jianmin. Chinese leaders were alarmed by the rapid rise of violent crimes in the countryside, especially in border areas where officials have had difficulties to control minor ethnic groups. Most of these gangsters were drug and arms traffickers and well-connected with local clansmen and tribes. Some of them were so well-armed that local authorities were often reluctant to take action against them and had to seek help from the military in their arrests. Scholars suggest law and order has become a problem in rural villages because the Communist Party's control over the countryside has been weakened by the abolition of the communal system. Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the murder of well-known writer, Dai Houying. The suspect was arrested at the weekend in Hefei, Anhui province, according to the Beijing-backed newspaper Wen Wei Po. Dai, a 58-year-old literature professor at Shanghai University, and her niece Dai Hui, were murdered in their Shanghai apartment on August 25. Police also took a bank passbook belonging to the writer, according to the report. Dai was known for depicting the life of Chinese intellectuals. Her best selling books were translated into several languages and included Man, Oh, Man and The Death of a Poet.