A recent corruption case that has taken mainland China by surprise involves a senior CCP official from northeastern China's Liaoning province, whose family was found to own 2,714 properties in the name of operating family businesses.
Xu Changyuan, a former high-ranking CCP official, was involved in mafia-linked assets worth more than 10 billion yuan (about $1.52 billion).
Xu leveraged his authority to aggressively harvest money for his family businesses, based on China's state media reports.
A case in point was a property in Ganjingzi district, Dalian city, Liaoning province that he helped his brothers flip. They earned 500 million yuan ($76.2 million) off that one project due to Xu's intervention.
Before he was sacked, Xu had held important administrative positions, including secretary of the Party Working Committee, director of the Administrative Committee of Dalian Jinzhou New District, mayor of Zhuanghe city, Liaoning province, mayor and Party chief of Wafangdian city, and secretary of the Jinzhou District Party Committee.
Xu and his sister and four brothers had run more than 20 family businesses in logistics, mortgage, real estate development, and futures for over 20 years.
Authorities said their family businesses legalized their illegal income, based on China's state media outlets.
In the meantime, the Xu family employed violence in collecting debts. An investigation showed they cut some debtors' Achilles tendons, forced some into cutting off one of their fingers as a punishment or subjected others to illegal detention.
In Sept. 2020, Xu Changyuan was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of organizing and leading mafia groups, embezzlement, fraud, bribery, and others.
Xu's involvement in the CCP's crackdown upon Falun Gong followers led to the illegal ransacking of the homes of practitioners, kidnapping, illegal detention, forced labor, and imprisonment, Minghui reported.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient Chinese spiritual practice consisting of simple, slow-moving meditation exercises and moral teachings incorporating the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance in everyday life. It grew in popularity during the 1990s, with 70 million to 100 million people practicing Falun Gong in China by the end of the decade, according to official estimates at the time.
China expert Heng He told The Epoch Times that mafia groups in China's village governments find their origin in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which is their largest backer.
He noted that throughout the history of the CCP, the Party has mobilized villains or thugs to stoke public hostility toward social elites, as in the Chinese Land Reform Movement of the late 1940s and the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s.