(Minghui.org) A saying that's circulating in China goes, “Bandits of old holed up in deep mountains; today's bandits are in public security.”
In the olden days, these highwaymen robbed merchants and common folk traveling the roads, taking from those that were weaker than they because they could. Today, a similar story is unfolding, except that the robbers are dressed in police uniforms and exert their power in less overt ways. One thing has not changed, however: the greed that drives these men.
A friend of mine spoke to a deputy chief of the local public security bureau about a group of local swindlers that would pretend to be hit by a car and then blackmail the driver.
The deputy chief said, “Such people are usually drug addicts that don't have money. If we arrest them, we will have to send them to rehabilitation centers on our budget. Moreover, they are not afraid of death and do crazy things like ingest glass or other dangerous objects. Then we have to cover the medical bills for their emergency care. Public security then loses even more money. So, we leave them alone.”
A police station chief recently told me, “When police stations send people to detention centers, they have to pay those facilities. So if a police station wants to break even financially, it collects money from the people it arrests. So we have to look at the people we arrest in that light. Police officers don't want to arrest petty thieves, because they don't have any money.”
“This is not a normal job,” he added. “Blackmail is the only way to survive when we have such a limited budget. I have to collect 'protection fees' from big enterprises in my district.”
"Why are Chinese police departments expected to operate on such meager budgets?" one may ask. Haven't we read that China's domestic security budget has exceeded its defense budget for four years in a row? The answer is simple—corruption at each level of bureaucracy takes away those funds, such that those at the lowest level are resorting to blackmail.
Some local policemen broke into the home of a Falun Gong practitioner in my area. They took computers, printers, flash drives, and other electronics. One policeman's eyes lit up when he saw the printing paper: “Great! Why don't you get more? We could use some at the police station.” He openly pocketed other items as he talked to the practitioner.
At the station, the officer made a call to his friend while the practitioner was still nearby, “Hey, buddy. I've got some flash drives. Do you want one?”
With the CCP giving its domestic security organs free rein in executing the persecution of Falun Gong, its officers don't hold back. Nothing is beyond their reach or beneath their notice, from houses and cars, down to stationery and poultry.
When the domestic security division raided the home of Ms. Zhang Xiaoming in Gangu County, Gansu Province, the officers stole 110 yuan from her pocket and all of the eggs in her chicken coop.
Prior to labor camps being shut down, they paid police stations for each person that was sent to them as a source of free labor.
If the labor camp didn't have enough detainees to fulfill the contracts it signed with customers, it would make a call to the local domestic security division: "Go get us some Falun Gong practitioners."
A Falun Gong practitioner arrested in Beijing recalled the following experience:
She was given an administrative sentence of two years in a labor camp in March of 2009. She was "sold" for 2000 yuan to the Women's Labor Camp in Hebei Province.
There she was forced to pack diapers and sanitary napkins for at least 10 hours per day, at times for up to 15 hours per day.
She overheard the camp policemen saying “200,000 yuan just arrived” when another 12 Falun Gong practitioners arrived at the same labor camp.
When a 13-year-old girl was sent to the camp, the director pinched her legs and arms. He callously concluded, “OK. She can work. We will keep her!”