(CNN) -- Dozens of Chinese criminal suspects living in Angola were sent back to Beijing on a chartered flight over the weekend, state media reported.
The 37 suspects were allegedly involved in a variety of crimes, such as kidnapping, human trafficking and forcing women into prostitution, according to the Xinhua news agency.
Authorities rescued 14 Chinese victims, who were sent from the capital of Luanda, on the same flight Saturday, Xinhua said.
The suspects lured women to Angola with promises of jobs and forced them to engage in prostitution, Chinese police said.
Chinese officials worked with authorities in the African nation and dismantled 12 Chinese criminal gangs, the report said.
It was the largest crackdown on crimes targeting Chinese nationals in Africa, officials said.
"The joint law enforcement action opened a new chapter in the police cooperation between China and Africa, and will safeguard the safety and other legitimate rights of Chinese citizens and institutions in Angola," said Liu Ancheng, director of criminal investigation in China.
Angola, which is rich in resources, is a major trading partner with China.
Driven by their appetite for natural resources, trade opportunities and political alliances, countries such as China and India are moving from the sidelines to the center stage in Africa.
China overtook the United States as Africa's biggest trade partner in 2009.
While Western countries are still important players in Africa's energy sector, the deepening engagement of China in Africa's infrastructure, mineral sector and telecommunications is creating "deep nervousness" in the West, said David Shinn, the former U.S. ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.