Prosecuting departments will begin placing special emphasis on investigating financial fraud conducted via online platforms, particularly pyramid schemes, the Supreme People's Procuratorate said on Wednesday.
The top prosecuting department issued an order for a serious probe into fraudulent moneymaking schemes that are conducted via the internet. It is also requiring a thorough investigation of crimes committed in the financial sector by people in key positions.
"Financial crimes have seriously undermined the country's economic security and damaged the financial order, and we will take a zero-tolerance attitude toward fighting such crimes," a statement provided by the SPP on Wednesday said.
According to the SPP, prosecuting departments will target the "financial crocodiles" who sabotage the order of financial markets and the "insiders" who trade their power for money and funnel investors' benefits for their own gain. The effort will serve as "an effective warning and deterrent", the statement said.
In addition, prosecutors will focus on investigating crimes involving securities and futures, and step up the fight against any job malpractice, such as abuse of power or dereliction of duty, to curb graft in the financial field.
In recent years, a number of financial crimes, including pyramid schemes, have used the internet to become a serious threat to economic safety and social stability, and have aroused a lot of attention from the public and media.
In a recent case, in July, Chinese police cracked down on a company called Shanxinhui, accusing it of operating a pyramid scheme and cheating people out of money by saying funds were being raised to help the poor.
Zhang Tianming, a representative of the company, which is based in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, and other suspects were put under "coercive measures" - a reference of a range of restrictions on a person's movements. The case is still being investigated.
At least three students have been found dead after apparently affiliating with pyramid operators.
According to the SPP, prosecutors will boost their efforts to investigate crimes involving securities and futures - types of financial instruments. They will combat the fraudulent issuance of stocks and bonds, as well as the manipulation of securities and futures markets; and they will take action against the illegal disclosure of important information.
Moreover, prosecutors will focus on probing corrupt officials who facilitate financial crimes in exchange for personal benefits. Pressure will be placed on those who abuse power, accept bribes or fail to execute their duty, the statement said.
According to the SPP, clear lines must be drawn to clamp down on financial crimes while safeguarding financial reforms and innovation.