Police bust 32,000 cases linked to trade in fake ID cards
Chinese police have uncovered over 32,000 cases of fabrication and trading of false resident identification cards since the start of last year, the Ministry of Public Security said on Thursday.
They have arrested 16,000 suspects and demolished more than 1,900 places around the country where fake ID cards were manufactured or traded, and removed over 4,460 pieces of online information related to the use of fake ID cards.
The illegal trade in fake ID cards used to be an offline phenomenon, Zhang Hongye, deputy director of the ministry's network security bureau, said, but was now increasingly conducted online.
Criminals had developed an online chain, Zhang told a news conference in Beijing. They published information on the internet about fake ID cards available for sale, contacted buyers through instant messaging tools, received money by online payments and used express couriers for delivery. Some ID cards were even sold to overseas fraud groups, he said.
The ministry launched a campaign to crack down on such crimes last year.
The public security authorities of Tangshan, Hebei province, have busted 11 criminal gangs that produced and sold fake ID cards online this year, capturing 77 suspects and seizing more than 20 metric tons of fake cards, including ID cards.
The ministry had enhanced the management of identification documents in recent years and improved technologies used to verify their validity, Li Jingsheng, director of the ministry's public security administration bureau, said.
The registration of fingerprints of people applying for ID cards has been implemented around the country, allowing departments to compare a person's ID card and their fingerprints to avoid the fraudulent use of identification documents.
A system has also been established to gather information about residents who have lost their ID cards or applied for replacement ones, and residents can report their loss and apply for replacements at public security offices.
The Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Transport and other authorities have set up a cross-department mechanism to ensure departments and their staff members earnestly fulfill their obligations and strictly implement identity verification procedures when needed.
"We have also set up a mailbox in the Sina Weibo account of 'China police online', where the public can report clues about forging, trading or falsely using ID cards," Zhang said. "We will check these clues one by one and give timely feedback."