Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign

Anti-triad crackdown in Shanxi province nets Chinese lawmakers among nearly 900 people arrested

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 October, 2015, 6:21pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 October, 2015, 3:46pm

Chinese police have arrested nearly 900 suspected members of 150 organised crime gangs, including lawmakers – all from the same province – so far this year, mainland media has reported.

The detentions in Shanxi province are part of a crackdown on triads.

Xinhua reported on Monday that local police had solved 1,028 criminal cases so far this year, and arrested 869 suspects, including 27 provincial-level lawmakers, members of the provincial political consultative committee and other low-rank officials.

Read more: Triad crime gangs have ‘infiltrated government of resource-rich Shanxi’

The report quoted a local public security bureau spokesman as saying that criminals infiltrating the province’s key industries had been “efficiently battered and punished”.

The spokesman was also quoted as saying that reports of crimes in suburban areas and coal mining districts had been cut by half.

A village chief in Yuncheng city, identified only by his surname, Li, was arrested over his alleged involvement in seven different crimes, including the illegal occupation of farmland.

Shanxi has been notorious for numerous cases where officials, gangsters, and businessmen have colluded in crimes for their mutual benefit.

Mainland media magazine Caijing reported earlier this year that criminals hired by businessmen had planted moles inside police cadet schools to tip them off about police operations.

Read more: Shanxi police force must be cleaned up if China is to honour pledge of accountability

In May, local police in Taiyuan detained 54 people who were alleged members of a criminal gang that was producing drugs in a rented apartment. The gang had been selling the drugs online through instant messaging platforms such as WeChat, and had also forced women into prostitution.

Meanwhile, the frequent changes at the top of provincial police forces had also caused problems for law enforcement officials.

In Taiyuan, the capital city of Shanxi, there had been four different police chiefs between 2008 and 2014. The city’s current chief of police, Wang Fan, was parachuted to the role from the Ministry of Public Security in September last year, after his predecessor was investigated for allegedly covering up crimes carried out by local interest groups, mainland media reported.

“Corruption will often lead to triad forces, and corrupt cadres facilitate the growth of gangsters,” Xinhua quoted the provincial public security chief Liu Jie as saying.