JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Angola has deported 37 Chinese nationals accused of being "gangsters."
They were extradited to China for alleged involvement in crimes including kidnapping, robbery and extortion against other Chinese people living in Angola.
China's Ministry of Public Security said the suspects also lured Chinese women to the southern African nation, and forced them into prostitution.
The 38 suspects arrived in Beijing this morning, and were shown by China Central Television (CCTV), the state broadcaster, being led off a plane in handcuffs with balaclavas covering their faces.
The official Xinhua news agency said it was the first time Chinese police had launched a large-scale operation against crimes targeting Chinese people in Africa.
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Oil-rich Angola is China's biggest trading partner on the African continent, but the influx of Chinese workers and entrepreneurs in the country has also brought problems including crime. CCTV said there about 260,000 Chinese nationals living in Angola.
Chinese police had sent special teams to Angola to work with local authorities on a crackdown on Chinese criminals, described as being poorly educated, low-income people.
Some of the crimes involved "extreme brutality," including "beating, burning victims after pouring gasoline on them and burying victims alive, to extract ransoms," Xinhua said. "Some were found taking young women to Angola and forcing them into prostitution."
The crackdown is a sign Beijing is concerned about such crimes tarnishing its image overseas.
The joint police force reportedly cracked 12 criminal organizations, 48 criminal cases, and 14 Chinese victims were rescued, Xinhua said, quoting the Ministry of Public Security.
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