Hard line on 'soft violence'

Shanghai police are cracking down on crime gangs which use so-called "soft violence."

Shanghai police are cracking down on crime gangs which use so-called “soft violence.”

Yesterday, police said 24 people will be prosecuted for loan sharking.

The accused, who ran an investment company called Qianhao, allegedly used “soft violence” to coerce debtors to pay,  such as blocking the keyhole to the door of their home.

A debtor, a man surnamed Du, borrowed 300,000 yuan (US$44,000) from the gang, but  was made to sign an IOU note of 600,000 yuan. He was threatened with “soft violence” when he didn't pay.

Other “soft violence” includes illegal detention, home invasion, blackmail and false law suits.

Zhang Chen, head of the organized crime unit of Shanghai Criminal Police, said these tactics had increased over the past decade after police focused on criminals using weapons such as knives to extort money from debtors.

Shanghai police lead the country in punishing violence which is not clearly defined by criminal law.

The Supreme People’s Court and Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice issued a statement on “soft violence” last month, defining it as a feature of mafia-style organizations. Punishments were clearly outlined.

Shanghai police said yesterday that since 2018 they have taken down 179 organized crime groups.

Special Reports
Top