WUHAN , China, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A billionaire mining tycoon was executed in China Monday with four associates, after being convicted for running a Mafia-style business empire.
Liu Han, 49, his younger brother Liu Wei and three associates were executed in Hubei province, where they and 34 other defendants were convicted in May 2014 of crimes including murder, illegally operating casinos, running a gang in the style of the Mafia and illegal firearms sales. He was board chairman of conglomerate Hanlong Group, which was fined 300 million yuan ($48 million) for offenses which include fraudulently obtaining bank loans.
Prosecutors said Liu Han made the majority of his riches through bribery, extortion and murder. The brothers operated gambling dens in Sichuan province and expanded, after recruiting "a gang of local thugs and vagrants," state-run media reported during their trial. The Hanlong Group is involved in mining, real estate, energy and finance, and is a shareholder in two Australian companies.
Liu Han was among the first executed with ties to Zhou Yongkang, a Communist Party leader arrested on corruption charges in December. Zhou, 72, has been accused of "violations of (Communist) party and organizational discipline and secrecy" and "exchanging power and money for sex."