BEIJING, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese police have solved 368 criminal cases involving 330 million yuan (about 51.8 million U.S. dollars) since a crackdown on illegal sand mining along the Yangtze River was launched at the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Public Security said on Thursday.
Police have so far dismantled 137 criminal rings, arrested 1,282 suspects and seized over 7.1 million tons of sand in the yearlong crackdown, according to the ministry.
A total of 368 ships have been seized for illegal sand mining or the illegal transportation of sand.
The ministry also released the details of 10 typical cases for combating such crimes. In one case, suspects from Zhenjiang, east China's Jiangsu Province, organized five vessels to illegally mine sand in the waters of the Taizhou section of the Yangtze River. They were found to have illegally obtained over 300,000 tons of sand, with the case involving over 20 million yuan.
The campaign, aimed at protecting the ecology and improving the navigation safety of waterways, targets illegal sand dredging in 10 provincial-level regions along the river, according to the ministry.