Chinese police have detained 62 people after a nationwide investigation into the manufacture and sale of firearms and ammunition, according to Chinese media.
The operation, which spanned 20 provinces, began in July last year when officers from Cangnan county in Wenzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province, received a tip-off about a local man making frequent online purchases of moulds for making airgun pellets and other gun-related paraphernalia, news website Thepaper.cn reported on Tuesday.
After questioning the suspect, identified by the surname Jin, police started to piece together a manufacture and supply chain that stretched across the country.
Jin’s main supplier was identified as a university student surnamed Zhang who sold both airgun pellets and the moulds to make them. He was detained in January in Changchun, capital of northeast China’s Jilin province, and provided information that led to the capture of two other suspects later the same month.
The investigation continued and on Friday police across the country moved in to apprehend a further 58 people linked to the case, the report said, without elaborating.
As well as the 62 people detained, police said they seized 11 guns, more than 82,000 airgun pellets, 10 sets of equipment for making ammunition, and a large amount of related items. The investigation was ongoing and the suspects are all awaiting trial, the report said.
China has some of the world’s strictest gun control laws, with the ownership, sale and manufacture of firearms and ammunition strictly prohibited. Anyone found in possession of such items can face up to seven years in prison, while the maximum penalty for producing them is death.
The Ministry of Public Security last month announced a new campaign to round up illegal firearms as part of the government’s preparations for the 70th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the People’s Republic in October.
This article Chinese police arrest 62 suspects across 20 provinces in crack down on gun crime first appeared on South China Morning Post