Campaign cracks down on illegal mining gangs
China Daily

(Photo: VCG)

Police broke 310 criminal gangs involved in illegal mining and damaging the ecological environment in a nationwide operation which started last July, effectively protecting the environment and curbing such crimes, the Ministry of Public Security said on Wednesday.

They also resolved more than 5,000 organized crime cases related to illegal mining and damaging the ecological environment during the operation.

The ministry supervised the investigation of 27 major cases and sent inspection teams to different cities to promote the operation.

Public security organs have also promoted information sharing and joint law enforcement mechanisms with other departments and helped industry regulators to perfect governance at the source, the ministry said.

An official with the ministry's criminal investigation bureau said public security departments will summarize the experiences gained in the operations and uphold a tough attitude toward such crimes.

In one case issued by the ministry, the ringleaders of a mafia-like gang in Guangxin District in Shangrao, Jiangxi province used illegal means, such as buying into other people's coal mines via threats, setting up passenger transport companies and controlling the local pork market, to gain large profits. They then hired many members and formed a criminal gang.

The gang made use of violence and other criminal activities to occupy many local coal mines, forcibly taking over the supply of sand and stone for high-speed railway construction, and forced others to grant land contract management rights.

In May 2022, the people's court of Yugan County in Jiangxi sentenced 19 members of the gang to imprisonment with a range of 20 years to one and a half years, along with confiscating the property of the two ringleaders.