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Dozens of drug dealers executed in China
Updated: 2004-06-25 20:44

Dozens of drug dealers were sentenced to death in a series of drug-related criminal cases across China as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking draws near.

In southwestern Yunnan province, Tan Minglin and three other people convicted of smuggling or selling five tons of drugs, including heroin and ephedrine, were executed after having all their belongings confiscated on Friday.

Chinese drug trafficker Ji Xinmi (C) listens to his verdict during public sentencing outside a railway station in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, June 24, 2004. Ji was sentenced to death for smuggling drugs on the railway in southern China. [Reuters]

South China's Guangdong province cracked a series of such drug- related criminal cases. Li Qingyuan was sentenced to death while his colleague Lu Guowu was sentenced a two-year stay of execution with all his property confiscated. Tan Zhong'an, another accomplice, was given a seven-year jail term and fined 10,000 yuan (US$1,200) by a local court in Shenzhen city, which neighbors on Hong Kong.

Four more drug-related suspects, including Liu Shenming, Ma Guoli, Wang Jianwei and Ye Yuezhen, were also executed respectively by courts in Fanyu, Huadu, Conghua districts, as well as a development zone of Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong, on Friday.

Another Chen Xue'an and three other suspects accused of illegally purchasing 60 kg of drugs by raising over four million yuan (US$481,000) were sentenced to death in Wenzhou city of east China's Zhejiang province on Thursday.

Cars, mobile phones and over five million yuan (US$602,000) of illicit money involved in the case were also confiscated.

In Hangzhou, capital city of the province, a total of 17 suspects were declared guilty of smuggling drugs, two of which were AIDS/HIV carriers sentenced to death on the same day.

Shaanxi province, northwest China, totally cracked 4,200 such cases and arrested 2,595 suspects while seizing 21 kg of heroin, said a high official with the provincial public security bureau in a news conference held on Friday.

And the police in Urumqi, capital city of China's westernmost Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, burned approximately 40 kilograms of heroin on Thursday.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, China cracked a total of 546,900 drug-related criminal cases in the past five years from 1998 to 2003, seizing a total of 51.03 tons of heroin and uprooting 427 hectares of opium poppy.

Statistics show that 235,600 criminal suspects were arrested for producing, trafficking and selling drugs over the past five year period, and 52.43 tons of "ice", or methamphetamine hydrochloride, 14.73 tons of opium and 1,412.5 tons of chemicals that could be used to make drugs were confiscated in the same period.

A source with the ministry acknowledged that strike-hard policies of China's narcotics control units in combating drug- related crimes and highly-effective measures and substantial efforts of the related units and localities across China have paid off in the war on the drug-related criminal cases.

The building of drug-free villages and communities, as well as active involvement in the international narcotics control efforts were all attributed to the victory over drug-related crimes in the country.

However, efforts are urgently required to curb production and sales of drugs and stem the increase in the number of drug addicts to reduce the harmful effects of drugs.

China now boasts an anti-drug police force of about 17,000 members, and its central government has input more than 600 million yuan (US$72.55 million) for drug control efforts over the past five years.

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