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Gang members arrested in Shenzhen
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Some of Mai Mingsen's gang members are led by police to a stadium where their crimes were announced to the public.

The former community head of the Bao'an district of Shenzhen and his brother have been arrested for allegedly heading a criminal gang involved in gambling and racketeering and commiting criminal assaults, the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday

Mai Mingsen, 38, was elected head of Nanzhuang residents' team, better known as an urban village, in May. It has since been alleged that he bribed his way to victory by offering villagers free trips in exchange for votes.

On Monday, Mai and 12 gang members including his 37-year-old brother Mai Zhuoming, previously chief of the Nanzhuang village security guards, attended a public arrest meeting - a police tactic to scare criminal suspects and ease public concern.

The suspects entered the stadium, manned by heavily armed police, wearing black hoods that were removed when the police chief announced their alleged crimes to more than 1,000 residents, the paper said.

Mai was implicated in organized crime after the two cases of assault reported to the police on June 15 and 18, along with cases of blackmail in the first half of the year, were found to have been committed by a single crime ring.

On June 18, the younger Mai organized more than 10 gang members armed with iron pipes and knives to smash up a store installed with slot machines and seriously injured the manager, his intent being to monopolize gambling in Nanzhuang, .

Police investigations revealed that the younger Mai had operated several gambling houses in Nanzhuang that made an average profit of 20,000 yuan ($3,000) to 30,000 yuan a day, and generated more than 1 million yuan in profits for the gang since March 2005.

The gang, under the name of Nanzhuang Co, is also charged with blackmailing small companies and businessmen in the area.

The gang had been under the control of Mai Jingsen, another younger brother of Mai Mingsen, until his arrest for assault last July, police said. The elder brother then took over as head of the gang, according to the report.

Bao'an district one of Shenzhen's two suburban districts, is a notorious criminal hang out.

The biggest organized criminal gang in the district was brought to court at the end of 2006, and its head, Chen Xiaojia, sentenced to 20-year imprisonment for crimes similar to those with which Mai is charged.

(China Daily August 29, 2008)

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