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National campaign targets sales of fake food, drugs

By AYBEK ASKHAR | China Daily | Updated: 2021-08-02 08:33
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Public security organs solved thousands of cases in a couple of months earlier this year during a nationwide campaign targeting food and drug crimes and other offenses, the Ministry of Public Security said at a news conference on Thursday.

The annual operation, called Kunlun, was first launched in 2019 to tackle crimes related to food, drugs, the environment and intellectual property rights infringement.

The ministry kicked off this year's campaign on April 20.

"By the end of June, the campaign had achieved good results," the ministry said.

"Police across the country had solved more than 23,000 cases involving about 13.5 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) and captured about 42,000 suspects."

Police solved some major food safety cases, including more than 2,300 related to the production and sale of harmful food that led to the arrest of about 3,700 suspects.

In one case, police in Sichuan province discovered a group of people making fake beef jerky and selling it online in May.

With the evidence and intelligence they obtained during the investigation, police shut down 33 illegal factories and arrested 74 suspects at the end of that month.

To forge a united effort and improve professionalism, the ministry established the Food and Drug Crime Investigation Bureau in 2019. Twenty-two provincial-level public security departments have set up related units over the past two years.

"Our responsibilities include cracking down on crimes against food safety, intellectual property, the environment and biosecurity," said Lyu Wuqin, the bureau's head. "We have solved more than 133,000 related criminal cases in the past two years."

Lyu said police also focused on drug safety during the campaign, especially with regard to lifesaving medicines.

By the end of June, police across the country had solved more than 300 cases and arrested about 400 suspects involved in the production and sale of phony medicines and substandard medical equipment.

On May 19, police in Wuhu, Anhui province, busted an organized crime gang that had produced and sold more than 2 million bottles of fake mouthwash over the past two years for more than 8 million yuan.

Police said the mouthwash was produced in a shabby factory that lacked disinfection protocols and sanitation facilities. The water used to make to the product was taken from underground and not purified.

Three members of the gang were arrested by police on June 28. The investigation is ongoing.

"We have also strengthened protection of the environment and stepped up efforts to crack down on crimes related to pollution and illegal mining, especially in key areas like the basins of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers," Lyu said.

Police nationwide had solved more than 800 cases related to pollution, Lyu said, and had arrested about 2,500 suspects. More than 700 illegal mining cases had been solved and over 2,900 suspects captured by the police.

"Public security organs have won positive feedback about the campaign from the people, and we will continue to promote it to foster a sound social and business environment for all," Lyu said.

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