Inauguration marks anti-smuggling peak

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 January, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 January, 1999, 12:00am

The anti-smuggling campaign, officially launched at a national meeting last July, reached a climax yesterday when the Chinese Customs Anti-Smuggling Investigation Bureau and its subsidiary police corps were inaugurated in Beijing.

Attending the opening ceremony were senior Communist Party and State Council leaders in charge of security matters, including Political and Legal Commission chief Luo Gan and Public Security Minister Jia Chunwang.

The bureau, placed under the dual leadership of the State General Customs Administration and the Ministry of Public Security, has been empowered with the authority to investigate, arrest, detain and conduct preliminary hearings on any suspects.

According to the semi-official China News Service, 42 subsidiary investigation bureaus would be formed in the first half of the year with a force of 10,000 officers across China.

Most of the recruits would be transferred from Customs posts and the Ministry of Public Security.

Both State Council disciplinary units have drawn up measures to supervise the conduct of corps members. They have given each investigation bureau a supervisory body to work out regulations for internal discipline.

The party role is also ensured through the political commissar system at sub-bureau level and above. A Beijing source said the bureau would be given additional resources to operate other than its official handout.

Thirty-five per cent of proceeds from confiscated goods would go to equipping anti-smuggling departments. The rest of the money would be split between provinces and the central Government, said the source.