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Mass lock-up leads to police inquiry

A POLICE captain is under investigation for allegedly abusing power after locking up 12 phone card sellers for up to 34 days when one refused to give a refund to his mother.

The vendors have now lodged a complaint to the police authority in northeast China's Jixi County in Heilongjiang Province, their agent Ren Honghua told today's Beijing Times newspaper.

County prosecutors rejected the police application to arrest the vendors, ruling them not guilty, Ren said.

It all began when police captain Wang Congling's mother bought a 300-yuan (US$44) phone card in March last year, enabling her to make cheap long-distance calls, the report said.

But she discovered that card seller Yang Shuguang had bought the card for 150 yuan and asked for a refund. When Yang refused, she complained to police, who then rounded up all her colleagues and detained them, Ren said.

Dongning police denied the accusation of power abuse, praising Wang as an excellent police officer "who did anything for the public interest."


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