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Bogus reporters detained for extortion
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Three men, who posed as China Central Television (CCTV) reporters, were detained in connection with what local police said was the attempted extortion of a county government in the southern province of Guangdong.

The three -- Xu Jinfeng, 26, Li Dong, 25, and Guo Yongbo, 22 -- are from Beijing and eastern Shandong Province. They are all unemployed, according to the police in Heping County, Heyuan City.

Li Yangda, the party secretary of the county, said he was told on the morning of Dec. 26 that three reporters were videotaping in an industrial park in the county.

According to Li, an anonymous caller told him about two weeks earlier that CCTV would sent reporters to the county and that if these reporters were not "received" well, "illegal land acquisition" in the park would be exposed to the public.

"But the park is fully registered and legally operated," Li said.

Two officials joined the "reporters" in the park in the afternoon, and asked for their name cards, press credentials or assignment paper from CCTV, but they had none of these with them.

The office telephone numbers that the "reporters" produced over dinner were later found to be false. The county officials called CCTV to check the men's identifications and were told they did not work there.

Police detained the three around 9 p.m. on Dec. 26. The investigation is continuing.

(Xinhua News Agency January 3, 2008)


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