SCIO briefing on the work of procuratorial, judicial and public security authorities in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak

The State Council Information Office held a press conference Wednesday morning in Beijing to introduce the efforts being made by the procuratorial, judicial and public security authorities to support the resumption of work and production in accordance with the law during the COVID-19 outbreak. February 27, 2020

Du Hangwei:

Cracking down on illegal activity is the responsibility of the public security authorities. Since the outbreak, all levels of public security authorities throughout the country have been acting on the instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the decisions of the CPC Central Committee. We have made every effort to fight the epidemic, prevent risks, protect people and property, and maintain social stability. While containing the epidemic, we also serve the public and ensure that economic and social order are restored.

Over the past month, the majority of the police, especially those on the frontline, have worked to fight the epidemic. Many heroes and heroic deeds have emerged during this period, and 49 police officers and auxiliary police officers across the country have laid down their lives in this service. They have established a new image of the "police serving the public" with practical action in the new era. Some of them made the ultimate sacrifice in cracking down on crime. The document, issued by the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, stresses that we should severely crack down on all types of illegal and criminal activities that hinder containment of the epidemic and the resumption of work and production.

The public security authorities will act in accordance with the document to severely crack down on all kinds of criminal activities that hinder the epidemic's containment and the resumption of work and production, especially illegal and criminal acts that hinder medical processes and epidemic prevention, and which disrupt market and social order. Illegal hunting, endangered wildlife trading, gangdom crime, wire fraud, pornography, gambling and drug abuse, will also be clamped down on. As of Feb. 24, public security authorities across the country have handled 22,000 cases related to the epidemic and detained 4,260 people. This crackdown has effectively deterred illegal crime and effectively safeguarded the lives and safety of the people, creating a stable social environment for winning the battle against the epidemic. Take for example, criminal activities related to face masks. Some criminals took advantage of the shortage in masks to commit crimes such as making and selling counterfeit masks, and wire fraud. These illegal activities undermined the interests of the people. The Ministry of Public Security has attached great importance to this. We have carried out a zero-tolerance approach and severely punished such crimes. Working closely with the market supervision authorities, we investigated the cases and looked for clues from the public by encouraging people to report criminal acts. In these ways, we have worked to crack down on illegal activities at a rapid pace, such as major cases of manufacturing and selling counterfeit and inferior quality products and supplies. Up to now, we have concluded 688 cases of manufacturing and selling counterfeit and inferior quality protective products such as masks, and arrested more than 1,560 suspects. Over 31 million counterfeit and inferior quality masks and a batch of protective supplies, worth a total of 174 million yuan, have been seized.

Next, the public security authorities will coordinate the work between epidemic containment and economic and social development. While continuing to severely crack down on crimes that hinder prevention and control of the epidemic, we will act according to the law to correct the excesses relating to prevention and control of the epidemic and the crimes that hinder the resumption of operations. After receiving calls of illegal crimes concerning the resumption of work and production, the police must promptly respond in accordance with the law and provide enterprises with fast and efficient services. We will continue to fight crimes committed by organized gangs such as intercepting goods, dominating markets and using violence to collect debts. Illegal and criminal acts including price gouging, counterfeiting, obstructing traffic, and disrupting production will also be cracked down on. We will do our best to fight crimes to create a safe and stable social and legal environment for the resumption of work and production. Thank you.

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