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Tighter security to return to Beijing airport
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08:56, April 16, 2009

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Moves adopted to fight drug trafficking and terrorism at the Capital Airport during the Olympic Games will be in place again.

The measures included special police armed with machine guns and police dogs patrolling the three terminal buildings, Zhang Zhi, deputy director of the airport police department, told a press conference.

But after the Games, the armed officers and dogs were rarely seen.

"Now we need these measures to be routine practices, considering the current security situation," he said.

Meanwhile, special vehicles with X-ray facilities will randomly check vehicles in the airport's parking lot, cargo yard and baggage sorting area for drugs and explosives, he said.

More drug traffickers have tried smuggling drugs into China through passenger and mail flights, he said.

Among 41 drug cases found by Beijing custom officers last year, 93 percent were trying to use passenger flights and express mail, up from 84 percent in 2007. Despite this, he said, the airport is on the whole safe.

According to a news report on xinhuanet.com in January, Beijing customs seized 266- kg of drugs and arrested 40 suspects last year, 30 of whom were foreigners.

On March 3, a foreign passenger was found with 87.25-kg of marijuana in his suitcase, the largest amount of drugs seized by custom officers so far this year, Beijing News reported.

"With our intensified security measures in place next month, drug trafficking through the airport will not be easy," Zhang said.

The airport police branch has sent officers to Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province, for training and has purchased police dogs as the force prepares to begin routine patrols before June this year, he said.

"By October, when the country celebrates the 60th anniversary of its founding, these three security measures will be restored to the level they were at during the Olympic Games last August," he said.

Source: China Daily

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