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Prosecutors urged to severely punish gangs

Updated: Jan 21, 2020 China Daily Print
A police officer explains to the public the achievements of a special campaign against mafia-like organizations and gangs at a publicity event in Yongtai county, Fujian province, on Jan 6, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Prosecutors across the country were urged to severely punish those involved in organized crime and gangs to address both the symptoms and the root causes of such crimes at a meeting on Jan 18.

The three-year special campaign against organized crime and gangs, which was launched in January 2018, has entered a decisive year and a large number of such cases have entered the prosecution stage, Zhang Jun, procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, told a national conference of prosecutors in Beijing.

Last year, the number of arrests for such crimes fell 19.9 percent year-on-year, while the number of prosecutions for such crimes rose 60.3 percent, indicating a large number of cases were entering the prosecution phase.

Zhang said prosecutors should further improve the efficiency of handling cases and speed up the process.

Under a consensus reached with the Ministry of Public Security, the Supreme People's Procuratorate will play an early role in the investigation of organized crime cases from this year.

Procuratorial organs have been asked to dig deep into gangs' financial foundations and interest chains during investigations leading to arrests and subsequent prosecution in an effort to destroy them.

They are also required to carefully distinguish between criminal property and legal property when seizing, freezing and handling property involved in such cases.

Zhang said cracking down on the protective umbrellas behind organized crimes is key.

"Dealing with clues related to the protective umbrellas when handling these cases is a necessary step that we must take, and we must look for the omissions and fill the gaps in cases that have been settled," Zhang said."We also must make full use of our ability to investigate and handle crimes committed by judicial officers."

Over 90,000 people were prosecuted last year for involvement in organized crime and gangs, and more than 1,400 "protective umbrellas" sheltering those engaged in such crimes were also prosecuted.

Meanwhile, the Supreme People's Court urged courts at all levels on Saturday to handle organized crime cases in strict accordance with the law and strengthen governance at the source to address both symptoms and root causes.

The courts were urged to brace for the torrent of organized crime cases coming up in the current phase of the special campaign and closely follow the trials of major cases. They were asked to step up efforts to crack down on the protective umbrellas and the financial foundations of gangs to establish long-term and permanent mechanisms to deter such crimes.

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