Ministry Declares War on Gangsters

Cracking down on gangsterism will be a major task for the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) in the next two years, said a high-profile official from the ministry, showing the ministry's firm determination to eradicate criminal gangs.

Jia Chunwang, minister of public security, made the statement at a teleconference held last week in Beijing.

Together with the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Ministry of Justice, Jia's ministry has declared war on criminal activities involving gangs.

The MPS hopes that such activities will be brought under control within the two-year timeframe.

Cai Shaoqing, an expert on the history of gangsterism in China, from Nanjing University, estimates that there are currently tens of thousands of gang members in the country.

Such criminal activities "severely endanger public security and constitute a menace to peaceful life," the MPS says.

Gang members always employ atrocious means by which to tyrannize common people and have become local dictators in some places.

Some gangs even collude with overseas counterparts, according to an official with the MPS.

In some places, cases of government officials conspiring with criminal gangs have also been reported.

Police sources also indicate that many criminal groups in Beijing involve students aged between 14 and 16.

Most crimes committed by gangs are serious offenses such as robbery, kidnapping, trafficking in narcotics and smuggling.

In September, the police in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality shattered a gang which made a series of bank-robberies in Chongqing, Wuhan, and Changsha.

The gangs are being charged with murdering 28 people and severely injuring 21 others in tens of cases since 1992.

(China Daily 12/16/2000)

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