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Nation steps up anti-drug effort
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-10 00:02

A nationwide campaign to fight against illegal narcotics will be launched from April to September to attack the problem at the source, a senior public security official said Friday.

Police are vowing to crack down on a number of drug rings and networks at home and abroad as well as demolishing large number of underground drug processing factories, said Vice-Minister of Public Security Luo Feng at a televised conference.

Luo's words are a strong signal that China will continue its anti-drug fight this year.

Sources with the Ministry of Public Security said 93,900 drug-related cases were investigated last year, where 9,535 kilograms of heroin, 905 kilograms of opium, and 5,827 kilograms of "ice," or methamphetamines were seized.

A public anti-drug awareness programme will be launched to block the entry of illegal drugs into South China's Yunnan Province from the Golden Triangle, one of the world's major sources of drugs, located where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet.

"China will push forward police co-operation with Myanmar to carry out cross-border sweeps to fight drug traffickers and suspects as well as drug processing plants at the borders," Luo, who is also the deputy commissioner of the National Narcotics Control Commission, said.

With the aim of destroying drug trafficking networks, police in Guangdong and Fujian will concentrate on the production and sale of ice and ecstasy in that region, he said.

At the same time, Chinese police will work with their colleagues from Japan, South Korea and the Phillipines to destroy cross-national networks and put drug dealers before the courts, he said.

Investigations into assets acquired through illegal profits and money laundering crimes will be strengthened, Luo pointed out.

Drug addiction has become a complex social problem in China, especially among the youth who can easily obtain drugs, officials said.

Statistics from the Ministry of Public Security indicate that 1.053 million illegal drugs users were registered by law enforcement departments by the end of 2003.

Luo also said that the public security bureaux will join local cultural and commercial administrations in charge of entertainment venues to launch an operation targeting entertainment centres to crack down on drug crimes and drug-traffickers.

China has also stepped up awareness campaigns among young people to help create more drug-free communities, officials said.

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