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Gun smuggling in China via express delivery, internet

China,Crime/Disaster/Accident, Thu, 05 Apr 2012 IANS

Beijing, April 5 (IANS) Authorities in China say arms traffickers are opting for internet and express delivery networks to smuggle contraband into the country following stricter police vigilance at border checkpoints.


According to a police official, gun smugglers are using the internet and express delivery networks for trafficking arms into China.


Police broke up 69 gun-smuggling rings nationally last year, and smashed 20 gangs, China Daily quoted Yan Zhengbin, deputy director at the public security management bureau under the Ministry of Public Security as saying.


Nineteen cases involved fully assembled guns, while the remainder involved gun parts and bullets. Of the 19 cases, 11 used logistics and express delivery networks, the ministry's statistics show.


Last August, in one such case customs at Beijing airport found a package, containing guns and parts, which was sent through a US-based company.


The discovery sparked a police investigation and led to busting of a criminal gang with members in China and the US, according to the ministry.


Yan said most of the firearms came from Southeast Asia and the US, though some did come from Europe and other Asian countries.


Gun smuggling across land border checkpoints is declining but smuggling through delivery networks is on the rise.


He said the internet also provides a platform for gun smugglers. "Information can be released online."


During a three-month crackdown, launched last August, police intensified website inspections, and closely monitored web pages, online forums and blogs. It led to seizure of 2,000 guns and 32,000 bullets, according to the ministry figures.


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