Sat, April 14, 2012
China > Mainland

China's most wanted on playing cards

2012-04-14 13:09:45 GMT2012-04-14 21:09:45(Beijing Time)  China Daily

Shang Shaojie (Joker) is one of China's most wanted. [Photo/CFP]

Playing cards featuring China's most wanted men are distributed to people in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province. [Photo/CFP]

Police in the city of Guangzhou have come up with a novel idea of hunting criminals at large - putting their images on playing cards and distributing them for free across the South China metropolis.

On Monday, police started handing out 50,000 decks of the specially designed cards.

The distribution is not geographically proportional, as Baiyun, Zengchen, Haizhu and Tianhe districts, where more migrant workers live, will get larger shares.

Printing the photographs of 54 wanted men, two-thirds of whom are suspects in homicides, on cards and making them public may help bring in more tips, according to the police.

Each card also contains the criminal's name, height, gender, hometown, case category, reward value and the "110" telephone number for reporting tips.

Shang Shaojie, one of the country's most wanted criminals and is suspected in four robberies and homicides throughout the past two decades, claims the Joker spot, with a 300,000 yuan ($47,700) reward.

Information on another 40 faces on the cards is being disclosed to the public for the first time.

The idea of adding the cards as a way to find those on the run is receiving mixed reviews.

"It is a little bit scary to see the criminals' faces when we play cards," says a woman surnamed Wang in an interview with the Information Times. "It is supposed to be entertaining. But now it makes people depressed."

Another man surnamed Chen says he is OK with that.

"I can be familiar with the faces of wanted men. I could get a reward one day by helping the police."

In 2005, police in Zhengzhou, Henan province, became the first in China to use the ploy by printing images of 16 wanted criminals on cards and distributing them at a railway station.

The US military developed a set of playing cards to help troops identify the most wanted team members of Iraq's former leader Saddam Hussein in 2003.

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