Triad Trial Exposes Chinese Corruption
Tycoons, party officials snared in Chongqing crackdown
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2009 2:12 AM CST
Xie Caiping, left, and other gangster suspects stand trial at the Intermediate People's Court in Chongqing, China, yesterday.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – A mass trial of Chinese gangsters in Chongqing has exposed a vast network of corruption amid the mega-city's police and Communist Party officials. Thousands of suspects, including dozens of high-ranking officials and top businessmen, have been arrested in an effort to crack down on the city's triads. Six have already been sentenced to death, and Xie Caiping, "the godmother of the Chongqing underworld," received an 18-year sentence yesterday, the New York Times reports.

Xie, sister-in-law of the city's deputy police chief, ran some 30 illegal casinos and had 16 young male lovers on the payroll, according to prosecutors. Crime gangs in China rely on the cooperation of the Communist Party, one analyst notes, "but when things get out of hand, as they did in Chongqing, the party can really go after these groups with a vengeance."