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January 18, 2016

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Gang selling fireworks online busted

SHANGHAI police busted a gang for selling fireworks illegally online and seized 5,334 boxes of crackers and detained 15 suspects over the weekend.

Police launched an investigation this month after being tipped off that fireworks were being sold on the Internet.

The suspects purchased the fireworks from provinces like Jiangxi, Hunan and Anhui. They transported it to the city and stored them separately in several districts within the city’s Outer Ring Road, where there is a ban on fireworks.

On Saturday, 15 suspects were caught by police in Baoshan, Hongkou and Zhabei districts and in the Pudong New Area.

They have all been put under criminal detention for further investigation while a total of 5,334 boxes of fireworks were found in several storages in the city, including a warehouse in Chongming County and a grocery store on Changzhong Road, Hongkou District.

As of January 14, 44 people had been detained for firework-related offenses since the beginning of this year, when the new regulation on fireworks took effect. Fines totaling 62,000 yuan (US$9,444) had been issued, and more than 5,500 boxes of fireworks and firecrackers had been confiscated.

Setting off fireworks during the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 8 this year, is a tradition in China. However, the practice has been blamed for smog, deadly fires and injuries, prompting many cities to limit fireworks displays during the festive period.


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