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Frontier patrols keep lid on rising trafficking

By Zhang Yan  (China Daily)

09:32, September 28, 2012

Cross-border smuggling crimes are increasing and police have intensified checks on some remote areas, a senior border police officer said.

Zhu Qiming, deputy director of the border control department under the Ministry of Public Security, said six types of cross-border crimes, such as human and drug trafficking, are on the rise.

Border control police across the country cracked 29 major organized human-smuggling cases in 2011, involving at least 20 suspects in each case, according to the ministry.

The police also rooted out 25 human-smuggling gangs, and arrested 586 organizers or transporters involved in illegal immigration.

Border police uncovered 3,082 drug-related cases, arrested 3,819 suspects and seized nearly 6.5 metric tons of drugs last year, ministry figures show.

Year-on-year comparison figures were not released, but Zhu said that generally such crimes are on the rise, and criminals tend to be secretive and better organized, which poses greater challenges to police.

He said border control police have strengthened checks on some mountainous passes and installed more video surveillance equipment in key areas.

"We've enhanced supervision over costal ships and fishing vessels employees, and intensified coastal patrols in some key marine areas," Zhu said.

Zhu said tightened international cooperation also plays an important role in preventing and uncovering cross-border crimes.

He said the ministry's border control department has established cooperation with counterparts in 14 neighboring countries, and signed bilateral and multilateral agreements on border management and combating crimes.

Meanwhile, the border control department has initiated the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum, together with the maritime law enforcement agencies from the United States, Canada, Russia, Japan, South Korea and some other countries. They regularly hold joint maritime exercises on fighting illegal immigration, drug trafficking and other cross-border crimes.

Zhu said more such international cooperation is needed, and priority will be placed on the joint initiative against terrorism-related smuggling. He did not elaborate.

China is adjacent to 14 countries, with 22,000 kilometers of borders, 18,000 kilometers of coastline and more than 300 ports.

"We can inform one another of our counterparts adjustments in migration policies and have more communication and cooperation in technology applications, personnel training, as well as cross-border rescue and clearance of passengers," said Li Guifang, deputy director of the criminal defense committee under the All China Lawyers' Association.

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