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Chinese professor given life sentence for drug production

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-14 18:00

WUHAN - An associate chemistry professor was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for manufacturing narcotics and selling them abroad.

The culprit, surnamed Zhang, and his partner, surnamed Yang, make more than 4 million yuan ($582,000) in profit annually from the business, according to a statement from the intermediate people's court of Wuhan city, capital of Central China's Hubei province.

Yang was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve.

In 2005, Zhang and Yang started a company ostensibly producing medical coating and solvent. Their real products included methylone, a psychotropic drug that can induce euphoric highs.

Zhang came up with the idea after learning that there was strong foreign demand for controlled psychotropic medicines, and the medicines were not regulated in China at the same.

After the hallucinogen was added to China's controlled substance list in 2014, the team tried and failed to create a substitute so they continued the racket.

Parcels were mailed to clients with pseudonyms and the buyers were allowed to pay with Bitcoin.

In November 2014, Wuhan customs found suspicious white powder in overseas-bound parcels. Later tests confirmed the power was a hallucinogen. Four suspects, including Zhang and Yang, were caught in June 2015.

Chinese media dubbed Zhang China's real-life Walter White, the fictional chemistry teacher and methamphetamine producer in US TV show "Breaking Bad."

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