The lengthy career of Shanghai's top gangster appeared at an end on Tuesday, as the city's No 2 Intermediate People's Court sentenced him to death.
Li Bin, the self-proclaimed king of Shanghai's underworld, was found guilty of charges of leading a criminal organization, trafficking drugs, organizing attacks and illegally possessing weapons.
His wife and 18 members of his gang, who stood trial alongside him, were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 15 months to life. None of them has yet appealed.
Li, 40, started his gang after he was released from prison in 2001. A career criminal, he had already been behind bars six times, in total spending more than 15 years of his life in jail. His past crimes included a string of thefts and possession of counterfeit money.
Working to reestablish his gang he started trafficking drugs soon after his release, as well as setting up gambling clubs and unauthorized online gambling networks.
In early 2004, Li harassed and threatened the owner of an entertainment center in the suburban Baoshan District to hand over the center, which he established as a base for his gang. The center was converted into a gambling and drug-taking den, and Li also used it to stockpile weapons including a shotgun, hunting rifle, air pistol, knives and spears.
He began organizing online betting on football matches around the end of 2004, netting nearly 3 million yuan (US$370,000) from the business, supplementing his income from drug dealing.
Between 2003 and May 2005, Li sold more than 1.1 kilograms of ecstasy, 0.36 kilograms of methamphetamine and more than 8 kilograms of the drug 'ice.'
From early 2004 to May 2005, the gang was involved in numerous violent incidents, often provoking fights in public places, attacking police and damaging public and private property.
(China Daily October 25, 2006)