FROM PETTY THUG TO BILLIONAIRE
Liu Han's gang criminal background is no secret in Sichuan. In 2007, Internet postings accused him of tax evasion and of being the head of a local crime syndicate.
"When I was having the posts erased, Liu Han told me to remove the one about tax evasion but to leave the criminal gangs, because it's good for business," Sun, Liu's right-hand man recalled.
Liu protected his business with with his gang and funded his gang from his business, and thus was engineered his dizzying ascent into the realm of the super-rich.
Back in March, 1997 when Liu Han set up the Hanlong Group in Mianyang, he told Sun to recruit a gang hatchet men in the name of security guards. He had Liu Wei purchase stocks of ammunition and they built an underground arsenal in Guanghan.
When the gang was busted in 2013, the police confiscated three grenades, 20 guns, 677 bullets, 2,163 shotgun cartridges, and more than 100 knives. Liu's syndicate was extremely hierarchical, Liu Han being the head, Liu Wei and Sun as Liu Han's right-hand men, and several key members reporting to Liu Wei and Sun. At the bottom, unlimited numbers of thugs were at his disposal, according to the police.
Liu Han wanted fierce fighters, and as long as they fought for the "organization", the organization covered for their crimes, regardless of the casualties involved.
According to Liu's rules, gangsters should claim no involvement with Hanlong if caught by the police. Anyone who revealed the organization's secrets was severely punished.
Those who hesitated to kill were expelled, while murderers like Tang Xianbing, were promoted to manager's positions with annual salaries of 100,000 yuan.
After Sun Huajun and Miao Jun killed Wang Yongcheng, Liu Han arranged their escape, and rewarded Sun with a Cadillac, an Audi and over 300,000 yuan. Miao Jun received 600,000 yuan.
With carrots and sticks, Liu Han established absolute authority in the gang. Blood cleared the path for Liu Han's businesses and surrounded by a cabal of ferocious gangsters, the wealth of Liu snowballed.
According to the police, after killing Zhou Zheng in 1998, Liu Han and Liu Wei monopolized gambling and loan-sharking in Guanghan. Their dominance expanded to sand extraction, construction and building material markets in and around Guanghan.
The slaughter of Xiong Wei and Wang Yongcheng helped clear the way for real estate development in Mianyang. Liu won tender for lucrative projects such as Mianyang airport and Hanlong Bridge. He acquired the Forgood Distillery Co., Ltd below market price.
In 2000, Liu Han moved Hanlong Group's headquarter from Mianyang to Chengdu, Sichuan's capital city, reaching out to more sectors. When his organization zeroed in on a project, other bidders backed off.
Interviewed by the Wall Street Journal in 2010, Liu said "Liu Han has always been a winner, never lost."
Since 2000, violence played less and less a part in his gang's dealings. The fear had already been spread. Its job was done. Liu Han and his gang dominated local politics and the economy by intimidation.
Liu Han and his Hanlong Group meddled in and monopolized many industries. His business empire was backed by menace. Evidence shows that he and his gang have accumulated enormous wealth in property, mining, and electricity, through loan sharking and stock market manipulation, by illegal mergers and acquisitions, and any other means available to them.
They controlled more than 70 companies, including two listed ones, and four based overseas. They have swindled loans worth 4.6 billion yuan; taken shares in overseas gambling companies; and made over 230 million Hong Kong dollars (29.6 million U.S. dollars) taking mainland citizens to gamble in Macao.
Liu Han's criminal empire has amassed nearly 40 billion yuan of assets and hundreds of cars, including Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, Ferraris.