5.3 tons of heroin seized during 2010

10:38, June 02, 2011      

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Police from Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region discover a haul of drugs while searching a 65-year-old man who had entered the country from Myanmar in March. The man was allegedly carrying 2 kilograms of methamphetamine, which is also known as "ice". Pan Honghui / China News Service

Chinese law enforcement authorities rounded up 101,000 suspects during 89,000 drug investigations in 2010, an 11 percent increase on the number from a year earlier.

The details were included in an annual report published by the Office of National Narcotics Control Commission.

The number of drug-related criminal cases was 15.6 percent more than in 2009, according to the Annual Report on Drug Control in China 2011.

Under the Criminal Law, suspects are prosecuted for drug trafficking even if they are found carrying a small quantity of contraband. Anyone found in possession of more than 50 grams of heroin or methamphetamine (also known as "ice"), more than a kilogram of opium, or large quantities of other narcotics, could possibly face the death penalty.

The authorities said more than 40 notorious producers of narcotics and major dealers, some with overseas connections, were arrested during anti-drug raids. The report said such swoops "strongly deterred" criminals involved in the production and distribution of drugs.

A total of 46 online drug trafficking groups were eradicated in 2010, it added.

In January, Luo Li, the former deputy head of the anti-narcotics department in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality, was sentenced to death after he was found guilty of murder, graft and drug trafficking.

According to prosecutors, Luo had collaborated with drug dealers in Chongqing since 2005 in exchange for 1.2 million yuan ($182,300) in bribes. Investigators also found that two drug dealers had trafficked more than 120,000 grams of heroin between 1997 and 2010. They too received death sentences.

In addition, the authorities seized 5.3 tons of heroin, 1 ton of opium, 9.9 tons of methamphetamine, 4.9 tons of ketamine and 3.2 tons of marijuana during 2010, the report said. Another 869 tons of chemicals that could have been used to produce drugs were confiscated.

More than 3,800 businesses, including nightclubs and bars, were ordered to close or told to suspend operations during 2010 on suspicion of facilitating drug abuse, it added.

In addition, the number of registered drug addicts increased by 16.1 percent year-on-year by the end of 2010, according to the report. Newly registered drug addicts amounted to more than 214,000 people, it said.

A total of 175,000 addicts were forced to join detoxification programs in accordance with the law, said the report. Another 96,000 people took part in detoxification and rehabilitation activities within communities.

Source:China Daily
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