Police to root out organizers of prostitution
Updated: 2014-02-19 07:03
By Zhang Yan (China Daily)
The Ministry of Public Security said on Tuesday it will be targeting organizations or individuals who help facilitate or shield prostitution across the nation.
Those acting as so-called protective umbrellas for the sex industry, such as some police officers and local government officials, will be targeted, the ministry said.
The expanded campaign comes about a week after the crackdown on rampant underground prostitution in Dongguan, Guangdong province.
A ministry official, requesting anonymity, said organized crime is often involved in prostitution in providing venues or handing out bribes.
The ministry has also instructed police across the nation to investigate hotels, nightclubs, karaoke bars and saunas to root out underground prostitution.
The nation's authorities have been forceful in tackling prostitution after China Central Television aired a report on Feb 9 revealing a thriving sex industry in the southern city of Dongguan. Many hotels were offering sexual services, but local police were not taking action.
Yan Xiaokang, deputy mayor of Dongguan and head of the city's public security bureau, was fired for alleged dereliction of duty.
The report triggered a massive crackdown in the city and other provinces. Recent figures by the ministry show that police across the country had arrested 501 suspects and broken up 73 gangs allegedly involved in prostitution and pornography.
Police also investigated 1,300 cases in which sexual favors were offered and closed down 2,410 entertainment venues linked to prostitution, according to the ministry.
The ministry reiterated its stance on prostitution on Tuesday, saying it will firmly investigate and severely punish those who are proved to be involved in crimes linked to the sex industry.
It also said that leaders of public security departments will be held accountable if they are found to be in dereliction of duty.
Dai Peng, deputy director of the criminal investigation department under the Chinese People's Public Security University, said the demand for prostitution is a key factor that must be recognized. Changing social attitudes and improving law enforcement will help solve the problem.
Xinhua contributed to this story.
(China Daily 02/19/2014 page5)