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Online gun-selling network busted in China

(Xinhua)

08:14, October 19, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese police have busted a serious online gun and ammunition-selling network, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) on Thursday.

Under the direct command of the MPS, 29 provincial police departments recently conducted joint operations in the case, arresting over 530 suspects and confiscating more than 1,000 guns, over 10,000 bullets and a large quantity of accessories, the MPS said.

China enforces an extremely strict policy on gun control, as private citizens are forbidden from owning and selling firearms.

Since March 2012, the police found that a number of people were selling guns through an online forum named "beifanglianmeng," or "northern union." Investigations showed that the forum had over 80,000 registered members who spread across 29 provincial regions. Some 900 of the members came under suspicion for selling guns and ammunition.

The ministry attached great importance to the case, and after months of careful investigation, the police found abundant evidence of criminality.

On Sept. 25, the ministry commanded police departments in the 29 provincial regions to arrest the suspects and destroy the gun-selling network.

An unidentified official from the MPS said the number of gun crime cases has decreased after a series of special campaigns, adding that the police will continue to crack down on gun crime in order to safeguard people's lives and property.
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