China

China executes 'mafia-style' mining tycoon Liu Han

Liu Han, former chairman of Hanlong Mining, speaks during a conference in Mianyang, Sichuan province, in this March 21, 2008 file photo. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Liu Han is one of the most powerful individuals to be felled by the corruption crackdown

Chinese authorities have executed powerful Sichuan-based mining tycoon Liu Han, state media say.

The former chairman of Hanlong Group was sentenced to death in May for "leading mafia-style crime and murder".

Liu's younger brother, Liu Wei and three other associates were also executed, Xinhua said, after China's top court signed off on the move.

Liu is believed to have had links to former security tsar Zhou Yongkang, who is currently being investigated.

'Tyrannised local people'

The Hanlong Group is a major private conglomerate based in Sichuan province, involved in multiple industries including mining, telecommunications and chemicals.

As head of the company, Liu Han was both rich and very influential.

Xinhua said the company, which had been "harboured and indulged by government officials, had illegally monopolised the gaming business in Guanghan City in Sichuan province, tyrannised local people and seriously harmed the local economic and social order".

In recent months, several top officials from Sichuan province have come under scrutiny.

Sichuan was a power base of Zhou Yongkang, China's former domestic security chief who is now the subject of a corruption probe.

Mr Zhou was the party secretary in Sichuan before becoming head of China's public security ministry in 2003.

He was arrested in December 2014, the latest and by far the most senior figure to be handed over to prosecutors as part of President Xi Jinping's crackdown on corruption.

Official reports do not specifically link Liu's case with Mr Zhou. The South China Morning Post reports Liu was an associate of Zhou Bin, Mr Zhou's son.

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