Prices climb as police crack down
Updated: 2013-06-27 02:17
By AN BAIJIE (China Daily)
Police set fire to confiscated drugs in Lhasa, the Tibet autonomous region, on Wednesday, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Palden Nyima / China Daily
Nationwide effort to get illegal substances off street successful
Drug prices in illegal markets have increased by an average of 35 percent due to an anti-drugs campaign initiated by police, the Ministry of Public Security said on Tuesday.
The nationwide campaign that was initiated three months ago to crack down on the illegal drug trade has caused a shortage in supply in black markets, the ministry said in a news release.
The cost of drugs, including heroin, has soared by an average of 35 percent, and the price of methamphetamines, better known as "ice", has increased by 40 percent.
"Suspects have said it has become very difficult to buy drugs," the news release said.
Police have arrested nearly 57,000 suspects in around 50,000 cases on illegal drug-related charges, according to the ministry.
A total of 26.5 tons of drugs has been confiscated, a rise of 126.8 percent compared with the same period last year, the ministry said. Nearly 8.6 tons were imported.
The ministry carried out a similar anti-drug campaign during the same period last year ahead of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which falls on June 26 every year.
In this year's campaign, the ministry required public security authorities nationwide to keep close watch on 276 key regions where drug deals are rampant, which has resulted 35,889 solved cases.
Police have raided 141 drug-manufacturing dens, seized 1,432 tons of drug-making ingredients and shut down nearly 350 entertainment venues for being affiliated to the illegal drug trade, said the ministry.
Police have also confiscated 739 guns, more than 49,000 bullets and a number of explosive materials.
Yan Shangzhi, deputy director of the Yunnan provincial public security department, said that local police have arrested more than 8,000 drug traffickers and seized nearly 9.22 tons of drugs in the last five months, up 12.7 percent and 23 percent respectively from the same period last year.
Yunnan province, bordering the opium-producing region of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand, is at the forefront of China's anti-drug efforts.
According to the Criminal Law, one who is arrested on a charge of smuggling, selling, transporting or making more than 50 grams of heroine or methamphetamines faces a serious sentence, including the death penalty.
On Monday, the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court and 12 grassroots courts in Guangzhou, Guangdong province tried 66 drug-related cases. Seventy-three people were sentenced on charges of making, smuggling, selling or transporting drugs.
Among those convicted, drug manufacturer Feng Guiquan received the death penalty, and accomplice Li Yuxiong received the death penalty with a two-year reprieve.
The two men were arrested on May 8, 2011. Police found 70.28 kg of 72.3 percent pure methamphetamines in their homes, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Zhang Yan contributed to this story.