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790,000 fake ID found in Chinese records

Police in China have discovered 790,000 fake ID records in their system, which can be used to gain benefits, hide assets and circumvent property ownership restrictions.

The fake records that included the same people registering with different details came to light when police used image matching technology, the Ministry of Public Security said Sunday.

The IDs have been nullified and those involved in the forgeries punished, said the statement from the Ministry of Public Security, which did not give details. It also said that any police officers found to have been involved would be fired.

In China, citizens have to register their residency with police. This gives them access to housing and education benefits and an ID card.

People with multiple IDs can gain access to additional benefits.

In a high-profile case last year, a former vice-president of a rural bank, Gong Ai'Ai, was found to have acquired multiple identities and more than 40 pricey Beijing apartments. Dubbed "Sister House," she was sentenced to three years' imprisonment for forging and trading official documents.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that a former police officer was sentenced to one year in prison for helping Gong to obtain the fake IDs.

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