BEIJING, July 12 (Xinhua) -- China's police have found 271,000 fake or duplicate ID records in the first half of this year, all of which have been nullified, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said on Saturday.
A total of 149 cases of counterfeiting and selling fake ID cards or "hukou" documents have been solved and 46 members of the police system have been punished for involvement, the ministry said in a statement.
The police also renewed its crackdown on corruptions behind the fake or duplicate ID records, as management of the welfare-associated ID or "hukou" documents is prone to rent-seeking.
In cases of violation, police officers help obtain fake IDs for individuals after taking bribes. Besides, lax supervision over registration and transfer of IDs leaves space for transgressions.
At a national public security meeting on Friday, Vice Public Security Minister Huang Ming pledged efforts to deal with the problem of incorrect, fake or duplicate ID information to ensure the accuracy and authority of the country's ID numbers and hukou records.
The MPS ordered that cases of officials and Communist Party of China (CPC) members having two or more ID or hukou registrations should be reported to local CPC disciplinary and organization authorities.
The ministry has also ordered a serious investigation and crackdowns on the selling and purchasing of fake hukou.
Police members found to have been involved in creating fake IDs must be sacked from their public security posts and if they have received bribes, they will also be punished according to the law, the MPS said in the statement.
In particular, the MPS will establish a life-long accountability system for officers in charge of "hukou" registration and management. Officers involved in counterfeiting IDs or "hukou" documents will be held accountable even their misconduct is found out after they retire or resign.
Moreover, fake-proof technologies will be adopted to assist "hukou" management. By the end of this year, a system to check ID information through image matching technology will be set up across the country.
Hukou is China's household registration and administration system, which is linked to citizens' ID cards and records.
The hukou system ties access to basic local welfare and public services to one's place of residence, and hukou of different regions entail different benefits, thus brewing demand for counterfeiting.
Also, as many Chinese cities restrict property purchase of individuals and households to prevent housing bubbles, demand is also growing for duplicate IDs.
Last year, China found and nullified 790,000 fake IDs.
In a prominent case, Gong Ai'ai, a woman dubbed "Sister House" by Chinese netizens for having over 40 properties in Beijing despite property market restrictions, was sentenced to three years in prison for forging IDs and residency records.
One former police officer in the northwestern province of Shaanxi was sentenced to one year in prison for helping Gong obtain the fake IDs.
Li Jincan, researcher with the Yunnan provincial academy of social sciences, a local think-tank, argued only when various social benefits be decoupled with the "hukou" system, will the loopholes in "hukou" management be fixed.
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