China's top military authorities have taken collaborative action with public security officials to clamp down on scams that provided fake IDs for people to appear as soldiers and have arrested more than 270 people, some of whom sold high military ranks for as much as 15 million yuan ($2.28 million).
Behind the action was China's Ministry of Public Security and the Central Military Commission (CMC). They also uncovered 15,000 pieces of false military equipment, including imitation guns, uniforms, logos and other items that were labeled "military use only," The Beijing News reported.
The three-month dragnet, which started in July, also hauled in two imposters posing as a general and a senior colonel of the PLA, who would boast to possible clients that 15 million yuan could buy them the rank of senior colonel, said the report.
"We'll put every effort into fighting against these criminals. Our purpose is to wipe them out and give them due punishment," Yang Zhanwu, a CMC officer, was quoted by China Central Television as saying.
In fact, some of the counterfeit military equipment, such as the imitation guns and uniforms can still be found quite easily on China's online platforms.
On taobao.com, China's largest online shopping website, people can easily get fake or second-hand military goods, with prices varying from 14 yuan to 3,000 yuan.
In August 2016, a 46-year-old man was sentenced to 14-and-a-half years in prison for scamming 3.24 million yuan by pretending to be a soldier, Shaanxi-based newspaper Chinese Business View reported.
According to China's Criminal Law, anyone caught posing as a soldier or military officer, could find himself behind bars for a maximum of 10 years.