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False Tax Invoices Seized
About 170,000 false tax invoices have been seized by police authorities since last August when a nationwide campaign was launched to crack down on their illegal printing and selling.

Task forces backed up by police authorities have destroyed 29 hideouts and 10 criminal networks which have been involved in economic crimes related to tax invoices for several years.

The achievements were revealed publicly by the Ministry of Public Security yesterday.

About 80 suspects across the nation have already been captured by police and will be handed to procuratorial organs as soon as possible, said Zhang Tao, deputy director-general of the Economic Crime Investigation Department under the ministry.

"The dirty money involved in the cases is not much, but in terms of the number of false invoices, our achievements in the last few months have been encouraging," Zhang said.

According to Zhang, the criminal activities of the 81 suspects have caused an estimated loss of 3.3 billion yuan (US$397 million).

Zhang said the campaign was part of China's firm and extensive effort to curb irregularities in the market.

The State Council has declared that this year's effort to restore complete market order will be focused on crimes and irregularities involving the making and marketing of fake and shoddy goods.

This effort will also involve financial fraudulence, economic crimes related to value-added tax (VAT) invoices and export tax rebates and smuggling and automobile assembling with smuggled parts.

The battle zone of the campaign was mainly in Taizhou, in East China's Zhejiang Province, said Xia Yiming, who spearheaded the economic crime investigation for the provincial public security authorities.

"The printing industry in the area has been well developed and some private firms have been reportedly involved in printing false invoices and other materials for a long time," Xia said.

In Taizhou, about 16 hideouts were smashed and eight sets of printing equipment were discovered which were used in making false tax invoices, said Xia.

Zou Wei, a division director of Zhang's department, told China Daily that the illegal activities are closely related to other crimes which have spread to other parts of China.

Zou said the crime of printing and selling tax invoices is linked to the making and marketing of fake and shoddy goods, fraud, corruption and smuggling.

"During our investigation, the crimes expanded from coastal areas to central and western China and the danger is getting bigger," Zou said.

"We have made big achievements but the road towards complete success is still very long."

(China Daily April 3, 2002)

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