Police in a county in southwestern China recently released four portraits of children among a list of hundred fugitives.
The photos which were released in Zhenxiong county, in Yunnan province of China with a list of alleged crimes committed by the suspects, had no indication that three of these four 'children' were now adults. One photograph appeared to be a young boy who appeared to be primary school age.
"Ji Qinghai, male, ethnicity Han ... is wanted by the police for involvement in a public nuisance case," the police notice announced, stating his ID card number.
According to a report in a Chinese daily, they found public records online using the ID number in the poster that Ji was actually 17 years old.
The picture went viral on Chinese social media platforms like Weibo and led to ridicule and trolling on the polices official handle.
Zhenxiong County police defended the decision to use an old photograph owing to the fact that more recent ones were not available.
“His features won’t have changed,” an officer said. “Look at his features clearly, his nose, eyes, ears, mouth and eyebrows. These won’t have changed. We welcome any tips."
However, after Netizens started ridiculing the picture which had gone viral, the Zhenxiong police department issued an apology by posting a letter on Weibo.
"The use of old children's photos (now removed) has drawn the attention of Netizens and created a negative influence," the post read. "We sincerely apologise for the carelessness in our work."