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|Police officers inspect confiscated knives on March 6 in Guiyang, capital of southwest China’s Guizhou province. [Photo/CFP]|
Police have seized 15,000 guns and 120,000 knives in southwest Guizhou Province, the country’s largest haul of illegal weapons in its latest crackdown on violent crime.
Fifteen people suspected of being involved in the manufacture and trafficking of firearms have been arrested, China Central Television reported yesterday.
The seizure was the culmination of a four-month investigation which was launched after the capture of a street robbery suspect in the provincial capital Guiyang, who had a gun on him, CCTV said. He is said to have told police he bought the gun from a man surnamed Qu, who was later arrested.
Police found that Qu had been buying guns and illegal knives in neighboring Hunan Province and selling them in Guiyang.
A team of investigators sent to Hunan uncovered a family business headed by a man surnamed Chen and his son, and employing a number of relatives.
They had been handing out business cards across the country promoting the family’s “knife factory,” said a police official.
They had been in business for three years, buying guns and knives from south China’s Guangdong Province and selling them to buyers throughout the country, CCTV reported.
Police found that tens of millions of yuan had been flowing through bank accounts belonging to Chen and his son.
Guiyang police reported the case to the Ministry of Public Security, which directed a joint action by police from Guizhou, Hunan and Guangdong.
This resulted in the 15 arrests and the destruction of 11 sites where weapons were either being made or were being stored before being sold.
The guns found by police were made of iron and use steel balls as bullets. Some had a range of up to 200 meters.
They could cause serious injury at a distance but would prove fatal at close range, police said.
Machetes, daggers and other weapons, including crossbows, were also found to have been produced and sold by the business.