Beijing: Smugglers in China are using the Internet and express delivery networks for trafficking arms into the country, a police officer has said.

Yan Zhengbin, deputy director at the public security management bureau told that most of the firearms came from Southeast Asia and the US, though some came from Europe and other Asian countries.

“Police has broken up 69 gun-smuggling rings last year and smashed 20 gangs”, Yan said. Nineteen cases involved fully assembled guns, while the remainder involved gun parts and bullets.

Of the 19 cases, 11 used logistics and express delivery networks, according to statistics from the ministry, he said.

Lack of proper checking procedures at domestic delivery companies pose problems too, as Yan pointed out, "some private or small logistic companies don't even ask for the real identity and address of the sender."

Gun smuggling across land border checkpoints is declining, nevertheless, smuggling through delivery networks is rising, he said.

The Internet also provides a platform for gun smugglers as "information can be released online".

During a three-month crackdown, launched in August, police intensified website inspections, and closely monitored web pages, online forums and blogs.

The crackdown led to the seizure of 2,000 guns and 32,000 bullets, according to the ministry figures.

(Agencies)