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China sees rise in economic crimes in 2007
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Although the total number of criminal cases leveled off last year, there were 84,000 economic crimes, up 4.2 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Among the economic offenses, violations of company regulations and financial misconduct led the increase, rising 15.4 percent and 14.3 percent, respectively, from 2006.

"As the economy has developed quickly in recent years, economic crimes have become more frequent," Wu Heping, a spokesman with the ministry, told reporters on Wednesday.

He said that 2007 was the fourth year in a row during which China had seen a marked increase in economic crimes.

As for other offenses, there were 4.75 million criminal cases in 2007. Serious crimes such as bombings, arson, murder, rape and abduction dropped, with bombings down 25.2 percent year-on-year, said the ministry.

"In 2007, public security departments at all levels strengthened their front-line police efforts to improve social security," said Wu.

The number of traffic accidents dropped by 13.6 percent year-on-year to 327,000, killing 81,000 people and causing direct economic losses of some 1.19 billion yuan (about 160 million U.S. dollars).

Wu noted that last year, crimes committed by teenagers and the jobless fell by 1.2 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, from 2006.

As the New Year festival neared, criminals might become more active, said Wu, and he warned the public to take necessary precautions.

(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2008)

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