500 arrested in vice crackdown
POLICE in Shenzhen have claimed success in their crackdown on ''social evils'' after making 500 arrests, official reports said yesterday.
Six individuals have been prosecuted on criminal charges and 27 have been sentenced to labour re-education since the crackdown began last month, according to the China News Service (CNS).
The report did not say if any of those prosecuted were government officials or Public Security officers.
The CNS also said more than 400 people were sent to ''shelter and re-education'' and another batch of more than 90 people were put under ''shelter and investigation''.
The report did not say whether these 500 people have faced trial or if any foreigners were involved.
It said nine karaoke lounges and saunas had been closed down and police had found more than three kilograms of heroin in a series of raids.
''Several hundreds of thousands in gambling money'' had been confiscated and an unspecified quantity of pornographic materials were also seized, the CNS report said.
The news agency said the crackdown would continue and the authorities would hit hard on the ''organisers, protectors, proprietors and the operators'' of illicit business.
It also said five ''work units'' had been despatched to the various public security bureaus in Shenzhen to ''examine and supervise'' the officers involved.
Two 24-hour telephone hotlines have been set up for the public to report on police officers who offered criminals protection.
Police informants would be given rewards, it added.
Chinese official media have put the spotlight on the latest campaign highlighting determination by the authorities to clean up vice.
Press reports yesterday said 15 people in Guangzhou and eight in Beijing found guilty of charges ranging from murder to robbery and rape were executed on Tuesday.
The 23 workers were executed almost immediately after their trials, the reports said.
The Wen Hui Pao said yesterday that courts in Shanghai, China's largest city, sentenced 1,726 persons to prison or death in June and July. Capital punishment was ordered for 75 defendants, while 30 others were given suspended death penalties and 41 received life imprisonment.
Defendants used to be allowed to appeal to the Superior People's Court for a review of a death sentence but that procedure was waived a few years ago when the authorities decided capital punishment was the only way to deal with the rapid decline in social order.
CNS said that the latest crackdown was initiated by Guangdong authorities under the pressure from President Jiang Zemin who was appalled by seriousness of the situation during a recent tour to the booming south China province.
The General Secretary was not only upset by the declining social order in Guangdong, but was alarmed by the frequency of industrial accidents in the past year.