While investigating illegal slot machines in southern Guangdong Province, the Chinese Communist Party’s anti-corruption agency discovered that 254 local police officers, six police station leaders, and other officials had colluded to protect local gambling rackets. They were bribed a total of 106 million yuan ($16.87 million) to turn a blind eye to gambling crimes.
The agency, called the Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), fined the offenders nearly 50 million yuan ($7.96 million), reported the state-run newspaper China Discipline Inspection Daily on April 16.
According to the article, locals in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province had repeatedly reported to the police that slot machine businesses were running rampant in the city. However, the illegal businesses continued to flourish. On January 3, 2017, the Zhongshan City branch of CCDI started to investigate the Sanjiao town police station.
Chen Raoqing, started a slot machine business more than a decade ago. After he was fined and his business was shut down several times by police, Chen decided to bribe the police officers.
While investigating local police officers, the Zhongshan CCDI found that the heads of more than 10 police stations in towns and districts within Zhongshan accepted bribes to protect the illegal businesses, the report said.
Within two months, six police station leaders were sacked and 24 people involved in running slot machines were arrested. Afterward, more than 200 officials and police officers surrendered themselves to the anti-corruption agency.
The report said that out of all 25 local police stations in Zhongshan City, 11 were involved in the slot machine bribery case. In total, 275 state employees were involved.
In one of the local stations, in Nantou town, 70 percent of the police officers, including the police chief, were involved in bribery. Some police officers who refused to receive bribes were forced to quit their posts.
Mr. Wang, a resident of Zhongshan City, said, “A lot of children were victims. They didn’t go to school or go home, but would play on the slot machines all day long.”
Many netizens also responded to the case. “Similar situations exist in all parts of China,” one commented.
Li Yun of New Tang Dynasty Television contributed to this report.