Police are cracking down on gangs

Chen Huizhi
Local businesspeople say police are working hard to end protection rackets.
Chen Huizhi
SSI ļʱ

Shanghai police are cracking down on extortion gangs targeting local businesses.

It is part of a national crackdown and the results are palpable.

A businessman surnamed Chen who has been working at the Jiangqiao vegetable wholesale market in Jiading District, where 70 percent of the city's vegetable sold, no longer has to pay protection money. 

“I used to pay protection fee to the gangsters here every time I transported vegetables into the market," he said. "But now they’re nowhere in sight, and the market feels safer."

Jiading police said they have been cracking down on gangs extorting local market businesspeople and seizing weapons such as machetes and daggers.

Police from Zhenxin police station which covers the market are encouraging guards, businessmen and workers to report incidents, promising rewards.

Since last year, the district police have closed 148 entertainment venues with no business licenses -- considered to be likely to be dens of gang crime.

In the district, the number of reports to the police about blackmailing and infringement of personal rights keeps dropping at an average monthly rate of about 20 percent from the beginning of last year, police say.

And the number of cases involving prostitution and drugs has fallen an average 31.8 percent a month.

In Xuhui District, the government said it has been encouraging about 15,000 community volunteers to report possible crimes through an app.

Volunteer groups have reported 83 incidents about prostitution and gambling since the beginning of last year, and 143 suspects from 15 gangs have been caught, police said.

In this district, home to many large hospitals, police have also cracked down on scalpers selling consultation sessions of top doctors.

There are also criminal gangs which control the home-furnishing business in certain areas and block outside competitors by using violence.

In the Pudong New Area, police said they have stepped up their crackdown on such gangs.

Police are cracking down on gangs
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