The passports of 89 people involved in cross-border gambling and fraud were declared invalid, and the passport holders were banned from leaving China for three years, said Chinese immigration administrators on Tuesday.
The people include criminal suspects registered for investigation by public security organs, illegal residents or employees repatriated from other countries, and those caught for illegally leaving the country from the southwest border, according to a press release published by National Immigration Administration on its website on Tuesday.
They were tracked down and arrested during a recent crackdown campaign on the administration of illegal and criminal cross-border activities including gambling and telecom fraud, the press release said.
The number of Chinese citizens leaving the country has largely declined since the COVID-19 outbreak, it said. "However, there are still some people who have been deceived or enticed to engage in activities including gambling and telecom fraud in Southeast Asian countries under the name of travelling or working there," it added.
"[Their behaviors] have seriously infringed on the property safety of Chinese citizens; resulted in vicious crimes such as kidnapping and extortion," it said. "They have threatened China's economic security and social stability, and damaged China's national image."
The administration noted that it maintains "zero tolerance" for criminals involved in cross-border gambling and fraud, warning that those who cross the legal lines will be severely punished in accordance with the law, and restricted from leaving the country.
We hope citizens conscientiously observe China's COVID-19 prevention and control requirements, not leave the country unless they must or have urgent needs, the administration said.
"Do not easily believe the blandishments of so-called 'confidantes' on the internet, or the 'go abroad and get rich overnight' claim of the outlaws," it remarked. "Otherwise [the wrongdoings] may not only hurt their personal interests and safety, but may also coerce them into becoming an accomplice of the criminals."