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GUANGZHOU: Guangzhou police on Friday announced that they have cracked a big cross-border prostitution ring, detaining five suspected leaders and 114 prostitutes.

But 10 further suspects in the case, including some Hong Kong residents, are still at large, said Xia Xiaolu, an official from the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Security.

The gang took women from the mainland into Hong Kong to work as prostitutes, Xia said, adding that because 10 suspects are still at large it is too early to say that the gang has been completely wiped out.

The gang was formerly based in Guangzhou's Huadu District and their involvement in the mainland-Hong Kong prostitution trade has been under investigation since 1998.

The prostitutes came from Hunan, Jiangxi and Sichuan provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

They were caught using two-way travel documents to get to Hong Kong, where they worked as prostitutes and returned to the mainland when their forged travel documents expired.

To help fight cross-border crime, senior police officers from Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions held a conference from September 24 to 26 in the city of Foshan in the province to step up co-ordination in cracking down on cross-border and secret society-related crimes.

The officers exchanged views and information on fighting crimes in the three regions and expressed their resolve to get such crimes under control.

Zheng Shaodong, deputy director-general of the Guang-dong Provincial Bureau of Public Security, said Guangdong will never be allowed to become a haven for overseas criminals.

Organized crime, secret gangs, drugs, commercial crimes, computer network crimes, forged documents and cross-border prostitution were the major topics of their discussion during the conference.

Despite their different social systems, the three parties all want to ensure stable social order to better serve economic growth, Zheng said.

And police from the three areas will support and co-operate more with their counterparts in dealing with crimes involved into the three regions, Zheng added.

In a campaign titled "Dawn" which ran from September 15 to 24, Guangdong police investigated 13,161 criminal cases, detaining 7,490 suspects.

(China Daily 09/27/2003 page2)


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