Gun trafficking ring involving US soldier busted

China has detained 23 people and broken up an international gun trafficking ring involving a US soldier which had smuggled weapons from the United States, the Ministry of Public Security said.

The ministry said it had seized firearms and ammunition in 16 different provinces and cities in a case that was jointly investigated by US authorities.

Last month, US federal prosecutors said a member of the US National Guard and two Chinese citizens had been charged with smuggling multiple shipments of firearms to China.

Private gun ownership is tightly restricted in China and gun crime is unusual.

China's public security ministry said the investigation started with the detention last August of a Chinese man at Shanghai's Pudong Airport after a package was discovered with weapons.