China / Society

Illegal drugs go up in smoke in Guangdong

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-27 08:19

Many residents in Humen township at the mouth of the Pearl River in Guangdong province cheered when more than 240 kilograms of seized drugs were burned in a grand ceremony on Thursday morning, marking the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The drugs, which were burned at the square of the Humen Sea Battle Museum, included 100 kg of ketamine, 125 kg of methamphetamine and 17 kg of heroin.

All the drugs were seized by Dongguan police in a special campaign in the past few months, according to the Dongguan narcotics control commission on Thursday.

"The event shows the city's confidence and determination to crack down on drugs and drug-related crimes," said Li Chunsheng, deputy governor of Guangdong.

Li, who is also director-general of Guangdong's department of public security and director of its narcotics control commission, joined more than 2,000 officials, volunteers, journalists and residents at the drug-burning ceremony.

The event was also held to commemorate Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) imperial envoy Lin Zexu, who is regarded as a national hero in his fight against the opium scourge fueled by British and other foreign traders based in Guangdong's provincial capital, Guangzhou.

"Fighting drugs and drug-related crimes is a long-term, tough task," Li said at the ceremony.

"Police across the province will redouble their efforts to crack down on the crimes to ensure a better environment for local residents, tourists and investors," he said.

Guangdong authorities have burned a total of 16.9 metric tons of drugs since the beginning of the month, Li said.

Dongguan, where Lin burned 1.15 million kg of opium on June 3, 1839, has become a major theater in Guangdong's anti-drug war, according to the city's narcotics control commission.

Guo Shaobo, deputy director-general of Guangdong's department of public security, said the province has achieved marked progress in fighting drugs and drug-related crimes in a provincewide anti-drug campaign that was launched last August.

Guangdong police, together with public security units in Yunnan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi and Fujian provinces, seized 375 kg of ketamine, 40 kg of cocaine and more than 20,000 ecstasy pills during the operations.

Guo Shengkun, head of the National Narcotics Control Commission, has called for a "people's war" to stop the spread of drugs, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Guo made the remarks as he inspected drug-control operations in Beijing communities on Wednesday.

Guo said he wanted various members of society, including volunteers and community workers, to help with drug control, education and the rehabilitation of addicts.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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