China arrests 1000s in gang crackdown
Beijing - China said on Friday it had arrested 2 182 people and broken up hundreds of gangs in an operation against organised crime, as a senior official pledged to crack down on police collusion with criminals.
The operation began on September 1 and has already shut down 270 gangs, the Ministry of Public Security said on its website, urging China's security forces to "encourage the public to offer clues to combat organised crime".
Liao Jinrong, the ministry's deputy director of criminal investigation, said some law enforcement officials were colluding with organised criminals and said such actions would no longer be tolerated.
"There is no denying that some police officers are in collusion with gangs," he told the English-language China Daily. "No effort should be spared to root out triad gangs."
China's ruling Communist party has railed against corruption for years, seeking to counter public anger over regular reports of graft and stories of excess and debauchery among senior officials.
Last year China executed Wen Qiang, a former head of the judiciary in the south-western Chongqing region who was at the centre of a huge graft and organised crime scandal.
The case brought to a climax a crime crackdown that lifted the lid on the seamy underworld in Chongqing, and highlighted China's problem of rampant official corruption.
The crackdown resulted in more than 3 300 detentions and hundreds of prosecutions, including the trials of nearly 100 officials.
Wen - who was deputy police chief for 16 years - owned numerous flats and villas, had a fleet of foreign luxury cars, and maintained a treasure trove of antiques and artworks worth hundreds of millions of yuan, press reports said.
Under China's criminal law, a gang boss can face up to 15 years in prison and face the death penalty if convicted of murder or causing serious injury.