In a bid to police the involvement of its citizens in crimes around the world, China is operating police stations in 22 countries.
The Fuzhou-Run overseas Police Service Station according to reports have been opened in 22 countries around the world, including Nigeria.
The police stations are established across countries where Chinese citizens reside, to observe its nationals living abroad.
There are media reports that the first Chinese police station is in Benin, Edo State, but the Nigerian police authorities did not confirm the information.
In Europe, the locations according to the report include London, Amsterdam, Prague, Budapest, Athens, Paris, Madrid and Frankfurt.
North America is also home to four stations, with three locations in Toronto and one in New York City. In all, there are 54 such stations in 30 different countries.
China is said to have become worried by reports of its citizens engaged in fraudulent acts among other issues, hence resolved to open these police stations in an attempt to combat the growing issue.
The report explained further that the Chinese operations have resulted in 230,000 nationals being persuaded to return to China voluntarily in the last year to face criminal prosecution.
Also, the report outlines the potential human rights abuses associated with the stations, including using harassment and intimidation methods, such as threatening the family members of overseas citizens.
Human rights groups have raised concerns over China’s actions. Safeguard Defenders Campaign Director Laura Harth said on Monday that the number of secret police stations set up around the world by the Chinese government had been “growing” after 54 stations were initially uncovered in 30 countries.
The investigation by Safeguard Defenders says that while the overseas police service centres may help the Chinese diaspora and tourists with everyday problems, they are part of a complex global web of surveillance and control, allowing the Communist Party to reach far beyond China’s borders.
“As these operations continue to develop, and new mechanisms are set up, it is evident that countries governed by the standards set by universal human rights and the rule of law urgently need to investigate these practices to identify the (local) actors at work, mitigate the risks and effectively protect the growing number of those targeted,”