Forty-four people in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region were sentenced to prison terms of up to 25 years for their involvement in a mafia-style gang, a local court said Sunday.
According to the court of Dahua Yao Autonomous County under Hechi City, leaders of the gang, surnamed Ma and Li, have known each other since they were young. They organized the gang, many of whose members were released prisoners or unemployed, according to the court.
From 2010 to 2014, the gang carried out a series of criminal activities and destroyed social order by illegally controlling food markets, entertainment venues and other sites in Yizhou City under Hechi.
They made over 500,000 yuan (72,479 U.S. dollars) in profits from extortion, forced transactions and underground gambling operations.
The gang was also found to illegally possess guns.
The gang leaders Ma and Li were given prison terms of 25 and 22 years and were fined 110,000 and 85,000 yuan, respectively. Personal assets of 500,000 yuan were confiscated from each of them. The other 42 people involved were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 10 months to 20 years.
The trial lasted 19 days.