Xi Jinping

Anti-smuggling unit catches 67 suspects

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 October, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 October, 1999, 12:00am

Sixty-seven suspects have been held for alleged smuggling in Fujian province since a taskforce was set up four months ago.

The semi-official China News Service reported yesterday that the taskforce - set up under the Fuzhou Customs - had investigated 13 smuggling cases.

The value of merchandise and cash involved was estimated at more than 98 million yuan (HK$93 million), the news agency said. It did not say if the suspects included government officials.

Fujian's Acting Governor, Xi Jinping, inspected the taskforce recently and told officers to get tough on smugglers who have ravaged the province.

'We must increase our strength in cracking down on smuggling,' Mr Xi said.

He acknowledged that smuggling had become a 'complex issue' in Fujian and said officers must adopt a 'comprehensive approach' in their investigations.

He told the officers to focus on a few 'major cases' and step up their supervision of companies.

Fujian has been plagued by a series of smuggling scandals. It has been confirmed that several high-level officials have been arrested for corruption and protecting smugglers.

It was reported that Beijing had sent special investigators to look into several major cases in Fuzhou and Xiamen. Several senior officials, including a vice-governor, were under investigation by anti-graft police.

Police have contacted Interpol to help search for an oil firm boss who fled the mainland after one scandal broke.