Planet China

Masked men

When it comes to untangling webs of criminal activity, who better than Spiderman? That seems to have been the thinking of an employee of a freight company in Guangdong who tipped off police about an international drug trafficking ring. When he showed up to collect his reward last week, he wore a Spiderman mask.

His Rmb450,000 ($68,400) reward is the bi­­­ggest prize of its kind in Guangdong. According to Guangzhou Daily, the informant alerted police after finding that certain Malaysia-bound boxes of timepieces were instead stuffed with drugs. The clue led to the arrest of 20 suspects including seven from Hong Kong, involved in trafficking 630 kilos of illegal narcotics.

The masked Spiderman seems to have inspired an Optimus Prime too. A few days later, also in Guangdong, police said they’d caught the suspect in a high-profile case in Heyuan city where two children aged eight and nine were killed in October. The informant received a Rmb300,000 reward and in turn he donned a Transformers mask during the presentation ceremony.

Both whistleblowers were keen to conceal their identities. But they also were paraded in front of reporters while they receive stacks of cash from police officers. Not all are convinced these spectacles are desirable. “Is it really necessary to do these publicity shows?” many netizens have asked.

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