Over 31,000 crime gangs dismantled in campaign since 2018
China dismantled more than 31,000 gangs involved in organized crime from the start of last year to last month, the group leading the national crackdown on organized crime told a conference in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, on Saturday.
During the period, 31,938 gangs had been broken up, and 34,792 participants had turned themselves in, said the group, which operates under the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
Guo Shengkun, a member of the Central Committee's Political Bureau who heads the commission, has called for the fight against organized crime to be strengthened.
Guo, who also leads the group, said significant progress had been made in the campaign over the past two years. He said now that inspections have concluded, there should be greater focus on major gang-related cases, the source of gangs' finances and "protective umbrellas".
To that end, discipline inspection and supervision authorities across the country have transferred 5,500 alleged corrupted officials who protected offenders to judicial organs.
In the first half of this year, the number of criminal cases nationwide dropped 6 percent year-on-year, while cases of serious violence were down 11.1 percent and cases involving guns fell 44 percent.
The CPC Central Committee and the State Council launched a three-year campaign in January last year to crack down on organized crime. In July, national inspection teams headed by ministry-level officials finished the last of three rounds of inspections in 31 provinces and municipalities, as well as the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
The teams have received about 472,000 tips and have helped break up 1,660 criminal gangs. They will review the work of 21 provinces and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps over 10 days late this month.
Key industries, including transportation, mineral resources and construction, as well as major cases and problems uncovered during the previous inspection, will be the focus of those reviews.
As organized crime is often interwoven with corruption and ties between criminals and corrupt officials are becoming more concealed, the campaign will primarily target officials who protect offenders.
According to the group, public opinion will play an important role in the evaluation of local governments' work in fighting organized crime. At the same time, the rights of law enforcement personnel will be protected, and false reports about them will be clarified in a timely manner.
The Xi'an conference also studied the idea of promoting management at the community and village levels to prevent people with organized crime backgrounds from securing elevated positions in such areas.
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