Police adopt 'zero tolerance' policy for cheating violations during pandemic

Yang Jian
Authorities have punished some 700 people for offences such as swindling, price gouging and making or selling fake products during the COVID-19 resurgence.
Yang Jian
Police adopt 'zero tolerance' policy for cheating violations during pandemic

A delivery driver braves the rain in Shanghai to transport online orders for citizens.

Shanghai police have punished some 700 people for violations such as swindling, price gouging and making or selling fake products since the COVID-19 resurgence on March 1, Shanghai Vice Mayor Shu Qing said Friday.

Three types of major offences have been detected during the pandemic, including producing and selling substandard food, community group buying swindling and making fake PCR reports, certificates or passes, according to police.

"We will verify every tip-off from citizens and severely crack down on those who are making 'black money' against conscience," said Shu, who is also head of the city's public security bureau.

He said police will have "zero tolerance" for any violation.

Shu said the city's 52,000 police officers have been safeguarding the city and solving difficulties for residents at local communities and on the front line of the anti-COVID-19 campaign.

Citizens are reminded to be on alert against telecommunication and online swindling related to refunds from e-commerce platforms, governmental relief or subsidies and investment in COVID-19 vaccines. Some cheaters also claim to be the head of community group buying efforts or delivery staff.

Police have helped to recover over 35 million yuan (US$5.3 million) for victims of these swindling cases, Shu said.

The "black rider," or illegal delivery staffer, is one of the main focuses of police since the service became a lifeline for residents under lockdown, said Fan Hongfei, captain of the police law enforcement team.

Some unlicensed riders have been found offering delivery services. Many of them fail to follow the COVID-19 prevention rules, deliver fake products or overbid freely.

Police have enhanced inspection of delivery riders at the entrance of local communities and on local roads, not only of their certificates, but also their PCR and antigen testing reports.

"The police will make sure to stop and inspect every motorcycle and every delivery staff on the road," Fan said.

Shanghai has issued to all delivery staff an "electronic pass" that includes the PCR test report and health code for the convenience of inspection.

Local authorities require each delivery person to receive two antigen self-tests a day, followed by a PCR test and another antigen test on the next day.

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