Chinese criminal gang arrested in Angola
The front pages of various Chinese newspapers yesterday featured the story of 37 Chinese criminal suspects that were arrested for a whole host of misdeeds that they carried out against other Chinese nationals in Angola. The front page of the Jing Daily (晶报) from Shenzhen spells out the gory details: Overseas Chinese in Angola prey on each other. Against their own compatriots, they committed kidnappings, blackmail, prostitution; the 37 criminal suspects were sent home yesterday, 14 of their victims were rescued.
The Jing Daily article describes how the 37 suspects – guilty of a whole litany of crimes – were nabbed in Angola in a joint operation by Chinese and Angolan police, and then flown with a chartered plane to Beijing, along with 14 of their victims that were rescued. This parading of the criminal suspects, with handcuffs and face masks, is the result of a process which began at the beginning of this year, when the Chinese Embassy in Angola sent a letter to the Ministry of Public Security in Beijing complaining of a string of serious crimes perpetrated against Chinese nationals in Angola from last year, and asking the Ministry to do something about it. The letter reached the attention of the Minister of Public Security, Meng Jianzhu (孟建柱), who proceeded to sign an agreement with the Angola Interior Ministry that facilitated the sending of a Chinese task force to Angola to undertake joint operations.
An investigation was first launched in May, and it soon uncovered evidence of a few lawless persons of Chinese descent who have been carrying out robberies, kidnappings, extortion and blackmail, prostitution and other crimes in Angola since 2009. The methods used were particularly cruel, including beatings, pouring gasoline over people and burying some alive, and luring some girls from China with false promises only to turn them into prostitutes.
By July, a task force was sent over to Angola, where substantial local resources were also mobilized, including a special detachment of the president’s own guard. Finally, early in the morning on the 1st of August, the gang’s hideout in the capital Luanda was surrounded by the joint task force. Members of the police knocked on the door, but nothing happened. After ten minutes, the police started knocking on the door and shouting loudly. Eventually, after another five minutes passed, someone opened the door and the police rushed in, finding four males inside. In a number of other operations implemented at the same time, the rest of the gang was rounded up, and 14 victims of Chinese nationality were freed.
The following images illustrate how a few other newspapers yesterday presented the arrest of the criminal gang in Angola.
For a an official Chinese perspective on these developments and some broader implications, see this Global Times piece of 28 August.