Thirteen police officers have been detained in Sichuan province for taking bribes from pickpockets to allow them to ply their trade at Chengdu railway station, state media reports say. Quoting local police sources, the Beijing Youth Daily reported that a further 20 to 30 railway station police were also being investigated for their alleged involvement in the scam. The Ministry of Railways launched an investigation into the racket in February. Of the 13 officers detained, seven have been officially arrested and their cases will be handed to the prosecutor's office for judicial proceedings to be launched. The remaining six are still being detained and questioned. The report said pickpockets had paid several hundred yuan to police officers guarding the station in return for being allowed to operate in the waiting areas of the railway station. Even if they were caught red-handed, the payment guaranteed that they would be released as soon as their victims had left the police station. One police officer said several pickpocket gangs were active around the station and operated in clearly divided timeslots. The Beijing Youth Daily said the payment system had made working at the railway station a lucrative position, with some police recruits in the city bribing their way into landing a posting there. While a police officer earns an average of 2,000 yuan a month, some officers had managed to accumulate millions of yuan, the report said, adding that some had even opened bank accounts where the pickpockets could deposit their bribes. The discovery of the scam had led to a reshuffle of officers at the station, the report said.