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Huge rewards offered for Games terror data
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People who provide police with evidence of a "major security threat" to the Beijing Olympics could receive a reward of up to 500,000 yuan ($73,000), Beijing media reported on Friday.

A police officer in full protective gear removes suspected explosives using a special pincer during an anti-terrorism drill in Chaohu, Anhui province, on Friday. More than 100 officers from police special units attended the drill aimed at beefing up security during the Beijing Olympics. [Xinhua]

The tip-off must include accurate and detailed information about a planned terrorist attack, possible sabotage by an illegal organization, such as the Falun Gong, murder of Olympic-related personnel or foreigners, or some other major crimes, a notice jointly issued by the city's police bureau and public security comprehensive management committee said.

The notice said the rewards would range upwards from 10,000 yuan and be determined by the value of the tip-off. The offer will be in place from July 10 to Oct 31.

The rewards are designed to "mobilize the masses to maintain public security, as well as to eliminate hidden dangers to the Games", the notice said.

The payout scheme is the city's latest move to ensure a safe Games. In Beijing, police rewards for major tip-offs are usually below 10,000 yuan, with a maximum of 100,000 yuan for information regarding serious crimes.

The Ministry of Public Security and Interpol have both warned of the "real threat" of terrorism during the Olympics.

On Wednesday, police in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, said they cracked five terrorism groups in the first half of this year, and had detained 82 suspected terrorists who had allegedly been plotting to sabotage the Beijing Games.

In April, the public security ministry also reported several failed terrorist plots to disrupt the Games, including poison gas and bomb attacks on hotels and government offices in Beijing and other cities, and kidnapping foreign athletes and spectators.

Sources also said they had received public reports on suspicious explosives and guns in apartments near the Olympic Village, but would not elaborate.

To prevent possible attacks, authorities in the capital have instituted a raft of security measures.

A strong anti-terrorism force is in place, surface-to-air missiles have been deployed around key venues and security checks are being conducted in subways.

Starting next week, security staff will also be deployed at hundreds of checkpoints on roads into the city. All passengers and vehicles with licenses registered outside Beijing will be subject to security checks.

(China Daily July 12, 2008)

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