Min­istry vows tough line on crime gangs

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YANGFEI [email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

Chi­nese po­lice have cracked 1.18 mil­lion cases of theft, rob­bery and fraud since the be­gin­ning of the year and re­trieved prop­erty worth 6.56 bil­lion yuan ($951 mil­lion) for mem­bers of the pub­lic, the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity an­nounced on Thurs­day.

The min­istry will con­tinue to en­hance the in­ves­tiga­tive ca­pac­ity of po­lice and take mul­ti­ple mea­sures to beef up their strength to crack down on such crimes across the coun­try, said Chen Shiqu, deputy di­rec­tor of the min­istry’s Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Bu­reau.

“All lo­cal pub­lic se­cu­rity bu­reaus around the coun­try will closely mon­i­tor the crim­i­nal sit­u­a­tion and crack it when­ever they dis­cover one,” he said, adding that the min­istry will team up with lo­cal bu­reaus to track down some of the coun­try’s ma­jor cross-re­gional crim­i­nal gangs.

A new crack­down tar­get­ing telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion and on­line crimes kicked off this month and will run to the end of next year, min­istry spokesman Guo Lin said.

Theft, rob­bery and fraud are the most com­mon crimes, Chen said. Due to the devel­op­ment of the in­ter­net, fast and con­ve­nient com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels, and the preva­lence of mo­bile pay­ment, crimes have un­der­gone some ma­jor changes, be­com­ing more cross-re­gional and pro­fes­sional, he said.

The ma­jor­ity of such crimes are com­mit­ted se­ri­ally and by syn­di­cates in­stead of in­di­vid­u­als. They gather by lo­ca­tion and kin­ship and spread their crim­i­nal meth­ods across the coun­try, se­ri­ously un­der­min­ing pub­lic se­cu­rity, he said.

In cy­berspace, new types of crime have be­gun to pop up where crim­i­nals don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to make phys­i­cal con­tact with vic­tims, in con­trast to some tra­di­tional ones such as street scams.

A large crim­i­nal syn­di­cate busted re­cently by Chi­nese po­lice, in­volv­ing sales of fake medicines and over­seas med­i­cal care worth about 1 bil­lion yuan ($145 mil­lion), is one of the new types of crim­i­nal en­ter­prises that have sprung up in re­cent years, Chen said.

Po­lice de­tained 132 sus­pects after crack­ing more than 2,000 cases in­volv­ing the syn­di­cate, froze 700 mil­lion yuan and seized more than 3,000 boxes of fake drugs.

The syn­di­cate, reg­is­tered as a biotech­nol­ogy com­pany in Dalian, Liaon­ing prov­ince, used an agent net­work of beauty sa­lons across the coun­try to lure vic­tims abroad with of­fers of free lux­ury trips and med­i­cal check­ups.

Its sales staff, dis­guised as cer­ti­fied doc­tors and med­i­cal pro­fes­sors from the United States, di­ag­nosed the tourists with can­cer and talked them into buy­ing a can­cer drug called “Can­cer Shield”, which was priced from 98,000 ($14,200) to 398,000 yuan and la­beled as be­ing pro­duced in the US.

The drug, seized by the po­lice, was found to be a do­mes­ti­cally pro­duced placebo that cost no more than a few hun­dred yuan.

“Crim­i­nals to­day are us­ing more com­pli­cated meth­ods and be­com­ing bet­ter hid­den, which adds more dif­fi­cul­ties to our in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Chen said.

“But no mat­ter how they change their meth­ods, pub­lic se­cu­rity bod­ies will unswerv­ingly ad­here to strict law en­force­ment and strengthen our force in crack­ing down on theft, rob­bery and fraud to pro­tect our peo­ple’s prop­erty.”

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