Police crack fraud rings preying on exit-entry
A three-month campaign launched by the Ministry of Public Security and six other ministerial departments has swept away hundreds of intermediary agents illegally dealing with exit and entry services around the nation.
From March 25 to June 25, the so-called Spring Thunder Campaign has focused on intermediary agents who have no unauthorized approval or funds, as well as those overseas institutes that illegally conduct exit and entry services in China, Han Yusheng, vice-director of the Bureau of Exit-Entry Administration under the ministry, said Monday.
During the campaign, Beijing police cracked down on 29 such agents and investigated five criminal cases and arrested 13 suspects. In East China's Fujian Province, police uncovered 68 illegal agents and investigated 12 criminal cases that involved a sum of 1.85 million yuan (US$223,000), officials from the Ministry of Public Security said.
During a joint operation in April, Beijing police and industrial and commercial administration department officers confiscated more than 50 passports and sealed 92 application files during a checkup of the Beijing Hangao Information and Consultancy Co Ltd, police officials said.
Agents or individuals took the advantages of individuals trying to apply to go abroad, often agreeing to forge certificates, even colluding with snakeheads or human smuggling groups to organize illegal migration, said Han.
"Such activities severely disturb the normal order of China's exit and entry administration," he said. "What is worse, expensive fees charged by the agents of the applicants have greatly infringed on people's legal rights."
The campaign is maybe a little late for Shanghai resident Zhang Wen whose dream to travel to Canada has turned out to be a nightmare, still haunting her after she fell for the words of an agent four years ago.
In February 2000, the then-27-year woman paid US$4,000 to the agent, she told the Shanghai-based News Morning Post, but got nothing in return. Zhang, now a mother of a 2-year-old, still sees no hope of the promised emigration nor a return of her money.
Investigators found the agent she trusted had no qualifications to conduct exit-entry services, said the report.
Zhang is not the only case.
Data from the Ministry of Education showed that more than 10,000 Chinese per year go abroad to study in more than 100 countries.
Besides the Ministry of Public Security, the ministries of foreign affairs, education, commerce, labour and social security and National Tourism Administration and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce also worked to stop the illegal migration practices.