China-Argentina security cooperation helps reduce crime: police source

2016-06-21 23:00:01 GMT2016-06-22 07:00:01(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BUENOS AIRES, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Cooperation between Argentina and China on security has led to a "reduction" in crime, especially within supermarkets, according to a senior police source here.

A recent operation by the Argentinean Ministry of Security, which was backed by Chinese security forces, has led to the dismantling of a criminal gang that targeted Chinese supermarkets.

The senior police source told Xinhua that the investigation has led to 22 searches and the arrest of 40 suspects.

"We need to deepen cooperation in order to tackle crimes such as extortion, which is at worrying proportions. We cannot allow people who go to work to face this," said the source who chose to remain anonymous.

The type of cooperation began in 2011 when Chinese police officers first visited Argentina, followed by a similar visit in 2013.

"We have seen a drop" in crime against Chinese supermarkets through this intervention, the source told Xinhua.

"We should also have greater exchanges with the police from other countries. We should be globalized. If we do not exchange officers and information, we will always be a step behind," said the source, who added that police officers should receive language training.

Argentinean police involved in this operation received lessons in the "Fujian dialect of Chinese" and the Chinese were taught Spanish.

On June 13, the Ministry of Security announced that "an intelligence operation allowed us to infiltrate elements ... involved in extortion and intimidation. They identified targets before threatening supermarkets and attacking those who delayed payment or ignored their demands for money."

The operation, known as "Dragon Head", also netted 40 criminals, including three high-ranking leaders of the criminal gang, while a fourth narrowly escaped, Xinhua learned. They will face charges of extortion, illegal possession of firearms and resisting arrest.

Meanwhile, 14 guns, cash worth 15,000 U.S. dollars, four vehicles, chemicals used to manufacture drugs and various documents were seized. Enditem