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42 kg of 'ice' seized in cross-region action
By Qin Yan (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-06-08 00:23

In a co-ordinated operation spanning several provinces, police have smashed an international drugs gang, arrested 12 and seized 42 kilograms of methamphetamine, or "ice," it was announced yesterday.

The arrested include gang leader Liu Feng and three people from Myanmar - about whom more information is being sought - he employed to produce "ice," the Ministry of Public Security said in a news release.

Police also seized 12.5 tons of raw materials and chemicals for making "ice" and three vehicles used by the gang.

Here's how the sequence of events unfolded:

On April 20, police in East China's Anhui Province received information of a plant in Fuyang producing "ice."

Investigations revealed that 39-year-old Liu, from Pingdingshan in Central China's Henan Province, had connections with drug barons in Kuogun, Myanmar.

He is said to have employed foreigners, bought material and equipment from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Shanghai, and was producing "ice" in a house located in Zhaowu Village in Fuyang.

On June 2, police had confirmation that the plant was producing "ice" and the drug control bureau swung into action.

At about 3 am on Sunday, police caught Liu red-handed on the border between Central China's Hubei and Hunan provinces - he was carrying 17.5 kilograms of pink-coloured "ice" pills.

Later, police in Henan caught three of his accomplices at a toll gate on the Zhengzhou section, Henan Province, of the Beijing-Zhuhai expressway.

Simultaneously, police raided the "ice"-production plant in Fuyang and arrested the three Myanmarese and four other gang members who were making the drug there. A total of 24.5 kilograms of "ice" was seized.

Early on Monday morning, the seized drugs were sent to Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, as part of a sting operation. Shenzhen resident Yue Dongsheng, who was about to buy the drugs, was captured.

According to statistics released in early April by the National Narcotics Control Commission, police across the country seized 2.7 tons of methamphetamine in 2004, down 52.9 per cent from the previous year.

They solved 98,000 drug-related cases last year, involving production, trafficking and sales, up 4.4 per cent from 2003, and arrested about 66,900 people for committing drug-related crimes, a 5.1-per-cent rise over 2003.

At the end of 2004, there were 791,000 registered drug addicts in China, up 6.8 per cent from the previous year.

The National Development and Reform Commission decided last year to set aside 1 billion yuan (US$120 million) to strengthen narcotics control over five years.

(China Daily 06/08/2005 page1)

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