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'Winter Days' too hot for drug rings
By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-08 05:44

GUANGZHOU: Guangdong police yesterday revealed they had cracked four major cross-border drug production and trafficking rings in Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.

Many suspects were detained, including a Hong Kong permanent resident surnamed Lau who is suspected to be the leader of a drugs gang.

A total of 263 kilograms of cocaine, 43 kilograms of ice or methamphetamine plus two pistols and many raw materials, were seized from the groups last month.

An international drug trafficking channel which was formerly active in the southern Chinese region was believed to have been busted, according to Xiao Shengxian, a police officer from Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Security yesterday.

"The crackdown on the four drug-related cases further shows the successful co-operation among police from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao and their firm determination in fighting cross-border crimes in recent years," Xiao said.

The special operation took place from November 1 to November 30 to target cross-border crimes, in particular drug trafficking.

The month-long operation, codenamed "Winter Days," also smashed a total of six cross-border gangs and 17 triad groups, and detained six Hong Kong suspects that had been on the wanted lists of Hong Kong police for years. Four Taiwan residents were also arrested.

Kidnapping, cross-border prostitution, forged documents and computer network crimes were also targeted in the campaign.

Before the operation was launched, senior police officers from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao held several joint work conferences together to exchange information and suspect lists, Xiao told China Daily yesterday.

Police from the three regions also set up a 24-hour hotline to receive information, he said.

The operation took place in eight cities in the Pearl River Delta, which borders Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions. It dealt a heavy blow to local secret gangs and organized crime that used to be active in the three regions, Xiao said.

"It has also helped ensure a good and sound social order for economic construction in the three regions," he said.

Guangzhou police also successfully busted a weapon sales gang, detaining 11 suspects and seizing 15 pistols during the campaign.

A major illegal casino was also closed down in the city's Huadu District.

Dongguan police released three Taiwan hostages who had been kidnapped in the Pearl River Delta city as well.

A Taiwan resident, who had demanded a ransom of US$380,000, was arrested.

(China Daily 12/08/2005 page3)

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