Drug dealers get death sentence
FOSHAN: Three drug traffickers were sentenced to death and two others got life imprisonment at the Foshan Intermediate People's Court on Tuesday.
Guo Jizong and Peng Guowei of Yunnan Province and Zhang Fajian from Guangzhou were executed after the final sentences were passed. Li Zhaoze of Foshan and Wang Jiazhang of Yunnan were all sentenced to life imprisonment.
The five criminals received the severe sentences because they had been involved in a big drugs deal 77.9 kilograms of heroin in October 2003, the largest trafficking case since South China's Guangdong Province launched an anti-drug campaign.
The Guangdong Provincial High People's Court, after investigation and questioning, refused the criminals' appeal and sent the case back to Foshan for the final judgement.
The Foshan court had made the initial judgment in April 2004.
Local police tracked down the gang, who had hidden the heroin inside four 4-metre high statues of the Goddess of Mercy, which weighed over 10 tons each. They then had the statues transported to a town in Foshan's Nanhai District.
Guo and Peng were caught red handed selling the heroin to Zhang.
Li, who was responsible for the heroin-filled statues and Wang, an accomplice of Guo and Peng in Yunnan, were arrested soon after.
Chen Xiaochen, an official with the Foshan court, said that Foshan would continue to severely punish drug producers and traffickers in a bid to prevent the drugs trade from spiralling out of control.
Guangdong Province, which, probably owing to its geographical location neighbouring China's southwestern regions, Hong Kong and Macao, serves as a gateway into the country's inland, has long been a hotbed for drug-related crime.
Last year, the provincial high court pronounced judgment on a case relating to more than 12 tons of amphetamines, or "ice." The haul was one of the largest of its kind in the world.
(China Daily 08/11/2005 page3)