Guangdong police claimed a major victory last month in their campaign to clamp down on Internet crime.
During the month-long drive to flush out illegal activities in this southern Chinese province that borders Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, police said they eliminated more than 8,000 links to pornographic material.
Xia Xiaojie, a police officer with the Guangdong provincial bureau of public security, said 55 suspects involved in 43 cases had been detained. More than 1 million yuan (US$130,000) in cash had also been confiscated.
The campaign, which was launched last month, struck a heavy blow in the fight against illegal Internet activities, which have long flourished in the prosperous province, Xia said.
"As many as 50,000 Internet websites were inspected by police and other law enforcement personnel during the campaign," she said at the weekend.
The campaign, codenamed Duanwang (Fighting Internet Crime), involved some 6,200 police officers, Xia said.
On May 24, after a two-month investigation, Shenzhen police successfully cracked a ring that provided pay-per-view pornography via live feeds to overseas customers.
Seven members of the gang, including its leader, were detained. Eight computers, 12 bank cards and cash sums of 50,000 yuan and US$4,000 were also confiscated.
In a separate case, on May 27, police in Jieyang, in the eastern part of Guangdong, broke up a major Internet soccer-betting ring, detaining 28 suspects.
Police raided 11 properties in Jieyang, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, all of which were believed to be associated with the gambling network.
Two sedan cars and 42 computers were seized.
Xia said police in the province would continue the campaign to crack down on online crime for the remainder of the year. She urged local people to refrain from visiting illegal websites and to report those they saw.
Government departments will forge closer ties to ensure the regular inspection of websites in the province, she said.
The fight against online crime has won support from the public.
Cui Jielan, a primary school teacher, said the crackdown on pornographic websites would help bring the province's once thriving online crime scene under control and prevent youngsters from surfing sites that might be harmful to their health and studies.
"I hope police will remain vigilant and stage further crackdowns over the coming months," Cui said.
(China Daily June 5, 2007)