Drug dealers get ultimate punishment
Three drug traffickers were sentenced to death on Friday in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, said a Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court official.
And another six members of the same drug gang were sentenced to life in jail.
Sentenced to death were Yu Zhuoxiong, Guo Mingqing and Chen Yuhan.
Cheng Junyong, Fang Xiaochong, Lu Yaozong, Chen Xiongwen, Luo Jiaxiong and He Zhonghong were sentenced to life in jail.
Wen Qicheng, Liang Kairong and Li Yanfei, another three accomplices were sentenced to terms between 8 to 15 years.
All the illegal property of the gang was confiscated.
The sentences and seizures bring to an end the largest ecstasy and ice trafficking case ever cracked in the Chinese mainland.
Yu and his gang produced and trafficked, among others, more than 4 million ecstasy pills, 3,000 kilograms of the drug called ice, 800 kilograms of caffeine between 1997 and 2001.
Most of drugs Yu and his gang produced were sold to South Africa and other overseas locales.
The gang started producing and trafficking in 1993, with production bases in Guangdong and Henan provinces.
The case was cracked in Guangzhou in May of 2001.
All the suspects were arrested while trading with overseas drug dealers.
Over the past few years, drug trafficking and drug related crimes have been rampant in some parts of the prosperous Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao areas.
Guangdong has stepped up its fight against drug related crimes, said the official who declined to be identified.
In China, transporting and sheltering narcotics are serious crimes and those convicted are severely punished. Drug dealers may face death penalty if convicted of trafficking more than 50 grams of heroin or ice, according to China's Criminal Law.