POLICE in central Henan province have caught about 3,500 fugitives in a year-long anti-crime drive, it was reported yesterday. The arrests included 967 suspects who had been at large for more than three years. One of the fugitives, who was wanted for murder, had been on the run for 13 years, the official China News Service quoted police in Luoyang city as saying. The report said 168 of those arrested would face sentences of death or life imprisonment. During the campaign, police formed 300 teams to search counties and cities across the country to track down the escaped criminals. Nearly 2,000 booklets containing the wanted lists were distributed around Luoyang to help net the fugitives. Police said the rise in the city's floating population posed a serious threat to law and order as migrants were constantly entering and leaving. But they said they would continue their drive to catch the offenders. Earlier, two brothers in Henan were sentenced to death for killing two policemen and a security guard in a bank robbery in June. The elder brother, Zhang Jianhua, was an escaped convict who had been sentenced to life imprisonment for safebreaking in 1991. A separate report said authorities in Guangzhou had executed nine people convicted of murder and theft. Guangzhou Intermediate Court found Wei Shigao, an ex-convict from the neighbouring province of Guangxi, guilty of breaking into a house in Guangzhou, killing three people, stealing cash and property worth 7,000 yuan (HK$6,510) and trying to set the house on fire. He also was convicted of killing a prostitute in Guangxi, the Yangcheng Evening News reported. Ye Wanxiong, a migrant worker originally from the central province of Hubei, was found guilty of murdering a co-worker who threatened to report that he had stolen three metres of electrical cable from a building site, the report said. It also named a third man, Li Shu, who was found guilty of breaking into homes in Guangzhou and stealing cash and other valuables. The report did not name the other six who were executed or provide details of the crimes involved. Nor did it say how they were executed. The nine killings brought to 32 the number of reported executions in the past two days for such crimes as murder, drug dealing, theft, poaching and ivory smuggling.