Shanghai police have rendered a hard blow on entry-exit violations and crimes, handling 348 cases in the past three months.
The sweep was a part of a nationwide joint campaign against stowaways that began on April 1.
Inspections on fake passports and permits have also been strengthened. In the city's Hongqiao and Pudong international airports, advanced machines were installed to examine passports.
The issue of human trafficking has received high attention since 58 illegal Chinese immigrants were found dead in an airtight lorry container in the British port of Dover on June 19, 2000.
The deaths were caused by international criminals known as "snakeheads," a term for those who engage in human smuggling.
The country's public security departments have strengthened efforts to stop human trafficking attempts by snakeheads along the country's coastal regions.
According to top officials, the number of illegal emigrants has dropped in recent years, due to the crackdowns. Last year, some 9,465 stowaways were caught throughout the country, down 18 per cent over the previous year.
The Pudong Entry-Exit Inspection Station, positioned at Pudong International Airport, nabbed eight snakeheads and 33 people who tried to run a blockade.
On June 23, police caught three Canadian Chinese snakeheads and three people who tried to stow away on two flights respectively to Canada and the Philippines.
On April 19, two men with fake passports were caught with four children when the two tried to bring the young children onto a flight to Vancouver.
During the campaign, local police also strengthened inspection on foreigners who entered, stayed or worked in the city illegally. Some 485 cases involving 525 foreigners were handled.
Police have found that more foreigners entered Shanghai and worked here illegally in the past few years.
Police said in the crackdown, 18 cases were of foreigners illegally entering the city, 30 cases were of foreigners working without official permits, and 437 cases were foreigners who illegally settled in the city.
Police said that some violations resulted from foreigners failing to renew their residence permits before deadlines.
According to the city's Entry-Exit Department of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, some 303 stowaway cases were cleared last year, 25 less than the previous year.
(China Daily July 17, 2002)