xi's moments
Home | Society

22 suspects found dealing in guns, bullets

By Cang Wei in Nanjing | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-17 08:54

Police in Jiangsu province captured 22 suspects across China for illegally selling and buying guns and ammunition online.

Police in Changzhou, Jiangsu, made the announcement, saying they had seized eight air guns, 27,000 lead bullets and six sets of bullet molds in more than 10 provinces, capping a three-month investigation.

In April, police in the city's Jintan district noticed that some people were selling "dog food" and asking for a "rabbit" in an outdoor sport-themed online group chat. Knowing that "dog food" and "rabbit" are codes for bullets and air guns, the police immediately investigated.

They found that a netizen identified by the nickname "AA" had asked around about selling "dog food" but soon vanished - indicating that the person might be a bullet seller who had found stable middlemen.

"Usually the bullet sellers contact buyers through middlemen," said Yin Ye, an officer in the Jintan Public Security Bureau. "The middlemen send the money and address of the buyers to the sellers after collecting their commissions."

In May, the police went to Shuyang, in Suqian city, to detain the netizen, surnamed Zhang. Police said the unemployed man was caught making lead bullets and admitted that he had come across an online group chat in 2016 where guns and bullets were sold. He said he subsequently learned how to make air guns and bullets from other netizens.

Zhang bought bullet molds and materials in July last year, and in March found a middleman online who could contact many buyers. He sold 1,000 bullets for about 300 yuan ($45). The middleman resold them at 520 to 2,000 yuan.

"Zhang confessed that it cost him less than 100 yuan to make 1,000 bullets," said Yin, the police officer. "He could make 2,000 bullets a day and had already sold more than 20,000 before he was caught."

Wang Xiaohang, director of the district's public security bureau, said that local police managed to catch the buyers, who also owned guns, through the express tracking numbers kept by Zhang.

"By cooperating with the provincial public security bureau, more than 50 officers across the country caught 21 buyers," Wang said.

He added that the buyers were taught how to avoid getting caught, including dismantling their guns and hiding the parts.

Most buyers who purchased guns costing more than 10,000 yuan used them to hunt animals such as rabbits and birds, according to the police.

Zhang is being held; the other suspects made bail.

In China, individual ownership of guns is outlawed.

Shen Qiyan, a partner at Shanghai Zhongxia Law Firm, said Zhang could be sentenced to as much as 15 years in prison, or even life, for making more than 20,000 bullets.

"Making or selling 500 bullets or more is considered a crime under Chinese law,"she said. "Making or selling five times that amount can be considered a serious violation of the law and can bring a sentence of at least 10 years in prison."

She added that a man who made less than 10,000 bullets was sentenced to 10 years and six months behind bars in Jiangsu.

In June, police in Xuzhou, Jiangsu, also said they had busted six gun-selling rings and arrested 65 people for selling guns online. They seized 20 guns, more than 300 gun parts and 20,000 bullets, and also destroyed three bullet manufacturing workshops after five months of investigation.

In November, the police in Zibo, Shandong province, seized more than 20 air guns and 5 metric tons of gun parts.

Also in November, police in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, detained 66 suspects while seizing 93 guns and about 30,000 bullets.


Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349