Lead­ers of gam­bling, sex ring jailed; of­fi­cers pun­ished

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YI zhang_yi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Two lead­ers of a gam­bling and pros­ti­tu­tion ring have been sen­tenced to life in prison and an­other 85 oth­ers were given jail sen­tences af­ter a night­club — in­volv­ing 300 mil­lion yuan ($45.8 mil­lion) of il­licit money — was busted in Zhengzhou, He­nan prov­ince.

Zhang Liy­ong, pres­i­dent of the High Peo­ple’s Court in He­nan prov­ince, an­nounced the re­sult of the case when he de­liv­ered an an­nual work re­port to the pro­vin­cial Peo­ple’s Congress.

More than 2,900 women had pro­vided sex ser­vices at Royal No 1 Night­club in Zhengzhou be­fore it was raided and forced to close in Novem­ber 2013, ac­cord­ing to his re­port.

A to­tal of 152 po­lice­men have been pun­ished for cov­er­ing up the ring, and more than 8 mil­lion yuan in bribes were seized, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port by Peo­ple’s Po­lice News, which is run by the Pub­lic Se­cu­rity Min­istry.

Three pros­e­cu­tors were also found guilty, the re­port said.

“The case is, in essence, sys­temic cor­rup­tion,” said Wang Jingbo, a law pro­fes­sor at China Univer­sity of Political Sci­ence and Law.

“When the en­tire political en­vi­ron­ment in an area is pol­luted, the po­lice team is very much likely to be in­volved in cor­rup­tion. There is al­ways a huge ben­e­fit be­hind such cor­rup­tion. The po­lice­men are not im­mune from the temp­ta­tion of money.”

Zhou Tingxin, for­mer deputy po­lice chief in Zhengzhou, was the most se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer pun­ished in the case.

Zhou was found “bor­row­ing” money from the club, which is a dis­guise for tak­ing bribes from the ring. Other po­lice of­fi­cers were ei­ther awarded stock shares in the club or given a cer­tain amount of money monthly.

Wang said pub­lic power was mis­used by po­lice­men for per­sonal gain. “Their pow­ers have been trans­formed into a means of mak­ing money,” he said.

“An in­tegrity su­per­vi­sion mech­a­nism should be put in place out­side the ju­ris­dic­tion of a po­lice depart­ment. And it must be a reg­u­lar means to pre­vent un­eth­i­cal be­hav­ior,” Wang said.

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