Crime crackdown underway

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/30 22:53:42

Police bust gangs, charge criminals, confiscate billions

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has dispatched inspection groups to 10 provincial regions as part of a campaign to dismantle criminal gangs in a move aimed at strengthening the country's anti-corruption crusade at the grass-roots level and improving economic reform in rural areas.

From January to July, public security departments across China have broken up more than 2,500 criminal gangs and organizations, and filed more than 34,000 criminal charges, the Ministry of Public Security said at a conference to promote  its crime-busting campaign in Taiyuan, capital of North China's Shanxi Province on Wednesday, China News Service reported Thursday.

The ministry required public security authorities at all levels to maintain pressure on local gangs and improve their ability to obtain criminal convictions. It also vowed to actively oversee and discipline local police forces.

Ten groups from the CPC Central Committee had been dispatched by Wednesday, in what will be an initial crackdown on organized crime, the Tianjin police website said reported.

The 10 teams consist of 335 members led by provincial and ministerial officials.

The teams were first sent to 10 provincial regions, including North China's Hebei and Shanxi provinces, Central China's Henan and Hubei provinces, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, East China's Shandong and Fujian provinces, South China's Guangdong Province and Southwest China's Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

By the end of 2019, the campaign will have covered all provinces and regions in China, and the inspection teams will return to review the work of local authorities.

"This first round of inspections does not target specific regions," said Deng Lianfan, director of the Hunan Provincial Collaborative Innovation Center on Anti-corruption.

The inspection teams were set up by the CPC Central Committee. This "shows the authority of the campaign, and sends a message from the central government and adds pressure directly to local authorities," Deng noted.

The Public Security Department in Henan announced on Tuesday that since January, the province had arrested 4,819 gang members and opened 5,155 cases invoving 1.95 billion yuan ($285.5 million), the news website reported.

Shanxi Province has also busted 70 criminal gangs and organizations, and has frozen 52 million yuan, China News Service reported on Thursday.

Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the Chongqing Municipal Party Committee, told the Global Times on Thursday that since reform and opening-up began the economic and political transitions have created some blank spaces in social management, which has allowed for the development of criminal gangs and organizations.

"In the past, some Party members in grass-roots Party organizations colluded with or protected criminal gangs," Su noted. "Fighting criminal gangs is a necessary part of China's current anti-graft campaign."

Su noted that eliminating the gangs paves the way for reforms. "It is also about the rule of law and democracy at the basic level."

Public Security Minister Zhao Kezhi said at the ministry's workshop in February that police will more resolutely fight organized crime, and eradicate the political, economic and social conditions that foster such crimes, Xinhua reported.

The ministry also announced the launch of a two-year national campaign against crime involving guns and explosives, Xinhua reported on Thursday.

Corruption and protection

Liu Dezhong, an expert at the Division of Academic Marxist Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said on Thursday that some criminal gangs were being protected by local authorities.

"Corruption reduces the happiness of the people and affects their lives and work, so only by wiping out the criminal gangs can they live a better life," Liu noted.

To better conduct the campaign, law-enforcement departments need to cautiously identify criminal gangs and legitimate social organizations, Su said.


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