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812 suspects arrested in joint Mekong patrol


08:43, May 21, 2013

KUNMING, May 20 (Xinhua) -- A total of 812 drug crime suspects have been arrested as part of a joint anti-drug campaign by China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand on the Mekong River, the mission's headquarters reported on Monday.

Launched on April 19, the ongoing two-month action has also seen the seizure of 1.93 tonnes of drugs and a batch of firearms and ammunition, said Lan Weihong, the Chinese spokesman at the headquarters in southwest Yunnan Province.

The suspects are from China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, Lan said.

Police information suggests that several drug rings preying in the region have ceased operation in the wake of the crackdown, according to the headquarters.

Drug trafficking has long plagued transportation on the Mekong River, which runs through the opium-producing Golden Triangle Region. The murders of 13 Chinese sailors by a gang in the waters of Thailand in 2011 renewed concerns over the safety of the busy trading route.

The four nations have conducted regular patrols on the river after a joint statement on Oct. 31, 2011 vowed to take actions to crack down on cross-border crime and secure transportation along the waterway.

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