China Establishes Anti-Smuggling Police Force
China has established a special task force to combat growing smuggling.
The Smuggling Cases Investigation Bureau under the General Administration of Customs (GAC) commenced operations on Tuesday.
State Councilor Wu Yi acted on behalf of Premier Zhu Rongji and announced the assignment of high-ranking positions to police officials.
State Councilor Luo Gan, secretary of the Central Political Science and Law Committee, presented the assignments to the new leading officers, as well as other officers.
Luo is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee.
The GAC and the Ministry of Public Security (MPC) will administer the new task force. The majority of officers will be selected from the two departments, with remaining members consisting of professionals from other departments and college graduates.
The force is authorized to investigate smuggling cases, arrest suspects and conduct preliminary hearings.
Luo expressed the hope that the new force will play an important role in China's campaign against smuggling. He said the purpose of establishing the force centered on strengthening the authority and power of customs departments to combat rampant smuggling.
He called on officers engaged in the anti-smuggling campaign to conduct law-enforcement activities in a just and fair manner. He also encouraged them to investigate major cases and arrest smugglers regardless of the status of the individuals or departments involved.
He warned that members of the force should scrupulously avoid corruption and graft.
Relevant departments should support the force in efforts to improve the anti-smuggling campaign, said Luo.
Eighteen branches of the new bureau will operate in a number of cities such as Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing. Twenty-three additional customs offices will establish their own investigation bureaus during the first half of this year.
TopNews 1999-01-06 Page1