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Henan police deal 'most wanted' cards
By Huang Bian (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-16 06:41

After issuing a deck of playing cards featuring the "the most wanted," the United States has either captured - or killed - most of the key figures from Saddam Hussein's regime after the Iraq War in 2003.

Now, police in Xingyang, Central China's Henan Province, hope to emulate that feat by releasing half-a-million sets of cards with its own "most wanted."

A Chinese policeman displays a playing card featuring an escaped criminal in Central China's Henan province, Tuesday November 15, 2005. In an effort to capture the criminals as soon as possible, altogether 16 of them and their details have been printed on a deck of playing cards. People who offer information to the police will be rewarded a sum of money. [newsphoto]

Sixteen notorious criminals make up the Aces, Kings, Queens and Jacks. Their details, crimes and the bounty awarded for each are listed in the cards, which do not necessarily grade the severity of the crime.

The cards were given to railway authorities in Zhengzhou yesterday, and will be handed out to passengers on all trains that stop at the provincial capital, according to police.

A murder on July 11 at Wangcun township, Xingyang, prompted local police to think about using playing cards to help bring criminals to justice, Zhang Yu, deputy director of Xingyang Public Security Bureau, told Xinhua.

He did not say whether the idea was borrowed from the US army in Iraq, but added that approval was secured from higher police authorities and legal experts.

Shortly after the murder, police issued 200,000 notices or posters nationwide for main suspect Zhang Zhijun, but to little effect.

"Many cities do not allow notices to be pasted on walls or buildings," said Zhang Yu. "And people usually throw away such leaflets.

"The cards grab people's attention and they keep them longer," he said.

For example, Zhang Zhijun is the King of Hearts, and the card includes such information as his date of birth, height, build and home address as well as distinguishing features such as a scar on his left wrist. People should dial 0371-64666601 to report to police if they have any information about the suspect. A reward of 20,000 yuan (US$2,470) is offered.

Many netizens hailed the idea, and suggested it be used around the country.

"The cards make everyone a police official on the lookout for criminals," said a posting on People's Daily website.

(China Daily 11/16/2005 page1)

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