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Fake journalists seized over extortion

Updated: 2013-12-05 16:17
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - A group of fake journalists has been detained by police on suspicion of extortion in North China's Shanxi province, the National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications Office said in a statement on Thursday.

Among seven suspects, five are alleged to have pretended to be journalists, but none have journalism qualifications, which must be approved by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, according to the statement.

The other two suspects are journalists with the West Times, a national newspaper focusing on the development of western China, it said.

Most of the suspects sought negative news about local government organs or companies while posing as journalists, and then extorted money from them by threatening to publicize the news, the office said.

In one case, a man surnamed Liu is alleged to have obtained 115,000 yuan ($18,880) by defrauding grassroots government organs and companies through extortion and threats of media exposure, while pretending to be a journalist with the Shanxi Youth Daily.

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