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Crackdown deals blow to mafia-style gangs

By Yang Zekun | China Daily | Updated: 2020-10-21 09:01


A nationwide crackdown on organized crime launched more than two years ago has dealt a heavy blow to the financial foundations of criminal gangs and improved the environment for economic development, a top organized crime watchdog said on Monday.

Data released by the national office against organized crime of the Communist Party of China Central Committee's Political and Legal Affairs Commission showed that 3,347 mafia-style organizations-708 of them operating in the financial sector-had been busted nationwide by the end of August, with more than 379 billion yuan ($56.7 billion) in assets seized. About 89 percent of that amount was seized from just 528 gangs.

A total of 2,453 individual criminals involved in organizing, leading or participating in organized crimes in 1,481 cases nationwide have had part or all of their personal property confiscated, been fined or had illegal gains recovered. The monetary value totaled 22.2 billion yuan, with 3.2 billion yuan returned to victims. Another 1,866 such cases are under investigation, it said.

The three-year campaign, which will conclude at the end of this year, has produced remarkable results in ensuring sound economic development, the office said in a statement posted on its website. A total of 4,473 mafia-style organizations and other criminal gangs had been broken up in rural areas by the end of August, it said, providing a strong guarantee of victory in the battle against poverty and the rural revitalization drive.

A total of 1,128 mafia-style organizations in different industries involved in crimes such as forcible contracting of projects, the rigging of bidding and forced trading have been busted nationwide, creating a better business environment, the office said.

The destruction of forests and lakes and illegal mining have been effectively brought under control, with 449 mafia-style organizations in mining industries busted around the country. Hainan province has busted 28 criminal sand-mining gangs, and nearly 1 million square meters of rivers and lakes have since been restored.

Ten provinces and municipalities along the Yangtze River cracked down on 170 illegal sand-mining gangs to help protect the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

In addition, 6,814 gangs engaged in illegal lending and using violence to collect debts were disbanded nationwide, improving local economic security.

With the rapid development of the internet and finance industries in recent years, criminal gangs have used such channels to commit crimes, the office said, urging authorities to strengthen supervision and regulation of new online financial products to close loopholes.

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