A billboard warning people that illegally crossing border is banned in Wanding, a town borders Myanmar in Southwest China's Yunnan Province. Photo: Courtesy of Wang Fanhua
Police in Menghai, Southwest China’s Yunnan Province recently cracked down on a criminal gang that used fake People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officers to conduct illegal border crossings from Myanmar to China and arrested at least 11 suspects.
Nine residents trying to illegally cross the border from Myanmar to China and two who helped them were detained after police stopped a suspicious Mitsubishi SUV with a military license plate on October 3, the Yunnan Daily reported Sunday.
Police said the driver, surnamed Cui, showed fake PLA officer’s ID and military driver’s license, as he was transferring nine people to Jinghong county in China after they had crossed the border from Myanmar through an illegal channel, the report said.
The gang Cui belonged to was also busted by the police.
Along with the fake military vehicle, the police also seized two PLA uniforms, four pairs of handcuffs, two officer IDs and 56,400 yuan.
In early September, illegal border crossings by two people infected with COVID-19, triggered a week-long lockdown of another Yunnan border city, Ruili, and prompted at least eight prefectures and 25 counties to enter "wartime status." Following the incident, Yunnan vowed to strengthen border patrols.
Twenty people have been sentenced to prison in Southwest China's Yunnan Province for crimes relating to illegal immigration from Myanmar to China during the COVID-19 pandemic, Yunnan’s high people's court reported on September 28.