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Revenge on Gambler Results in Blast Deaths of 19 People

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Published on:
Aug/27/2008

THE deaths of 19 people in an explosion in Wenzhou City, in eastern China's Zhejiang Province on May 17, was partly due to the flourishing local gambling industry, according to prosecutors probing the case.



They said the blast in Longhua Village, a notorious gambling location in Wenzhou, was the result of an unsuccessful attempt at revenge by a local villager who lost a bet, according to Legal Daily.

 



Hu Baoqiang drove his car, loaded with explosives, towards a casino in Longhua Village on the afternoon on May 17 following a dispute with the operator.

 


But Hu's car rammed other vehicles on its way to the casino detonating the explosives onboard. Hu was one of 19 people killed while another 45 were injured in the blast, which shocked the whole country.

 



Sixteen local officials, including police chief Shi Dekuo, were dismissed or punished after the incident due to claims of dereliction of duty.

 



Hu was reported to have had disputes with the casino run by Wang Jianxia, Lin Xingfei, Xia Nianwang and Xia Shousheng from Wenzhou's Wencheng County. They opened the casino in February this year and it immediately attracted dozens of gamblers every day, bringing in thousands of yuan in profit.

 



Xia Shousheng was among the 19 who died.

 



Prosecutors in charge of the case said gambling had become a chain business in Wenzhou's Longwan District, where Longhua Village is located.

 


At the same time the casinos and loan sharks had worked together in Longwan to exploit money from gamblers, they said.

 



But often gamblers sought revenge after losing all of their money or getting into heavy debt with the loan sharks.

 



Kidnapping or illegal confinement have become frequent events in Longwan. Sometimes loansharks are the culprits but on other ocassions, it has been the losing gamblers.

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