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Firearms sold on cyberspace

(Global Times)

10:13, October 24, 2012

Over 1,000 guns and 10,000 bullets were confiscated and 241 people arrested for running an illegal, cyberspace firearms business in Jiangxi Province, reported the Beijing-based Legal Daily.

The investigation by the Pingxiang Public Security Bureau, which lasted a year, found the suspects had sold guns to over 700 clients in more than 200 cities and counties in 30 municipalities, provinces and autonomous regions across the country.

Police tracked the gun buyers and confiscated their weapons, along with 200 firearms that were found when the sellers were busted. Police said they also confiscated 55,000 firearm parts.

"The stealthy cyber crime was very difficult to investigate," Yang Fukuan, head of the crime investigation team at the Jiangxi Provincial Public Security Department, was quoted by the Legal Daily as saying Tuesday.

"A huge organized criminal gang and an extensive network of buyers are involved in the case," Yang added.

Guns are strictly controlled in China and private gun ownership is outlawed.

"The illegal gun trade used to be limited to a small and secretive group, cyberspace now provides a hotbed for trade in weapons," Liu Tao, professor from the Chinese People's Public Security University, told the Global Times.

"An increasing demand for guns also plays an important role," Liu added.

He Li, deputy director of the firearms control department at the Ministry of Public Security, said criminal gangs, ethnic minorities who hunt, bodyguards and drug dealers are the main clients of illegal gun sellers, the Beijing News reported.

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