China prosecutes 467,000 people for drug-related crimes in the past 5 yrs

2023-06-26 08:46:50Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China has prosecuted a total of 467,000 individuals for drug-related crimes in the past five years, representing a 33 percent decrease over the previous five-year period, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) said on Sunday, noting that the decline in arrest and prosecution indicates the effectiveness of anti-drug efforts and the successful containment of the rising trend of drug-related crimes.

On the eve of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which falls on June 26, the SPP held a press conference to report on the efforts in strictly punishing drug-related crimes and strengthening comprehensive drug control measures in accordance with the law.

"From January 2018 to May 2023, the procuratorial organs across the country have approved the arrest of 373,000 individuals involved in drug-related crimes, accounting for 8 percent of all criminal cases, marking a 40 percent decrease compared with the previous period," said Yuan Ming, head of the SPP's Second Procuratorial Office.

To continuously enhance the supervision of drug-related criminal cases, the procuratorial organs have proactively intervened in more than 2,000 major drug-related criminal cases during the five years.

According to Yuan, drug-related crimes have shown a trend toward youthfulness and digitalization. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to drug abuse, especially the misuse of new types of drugs, and they may also become involved in drug-related criminal activities.

Criminals commonly use methods such as mutual electronic transactions and express logistics for drug trafficking and trading, which makes the trade more insidious, and makes it harder to collect and review evidence, Yuan noted.

Separately, the drug problem continues to persist globally, and drug smuggling remains a menace. "From the perspective of smuggling channels, seizures have been made through postal, express delivery, and freight," said Sun Zhijie, director-general of the General Administration of Customs, at a press conference on Sunday.

In 2022, through cooperation between Chinese customs and law enforcement agencies overseas, a total of 146 kilograms of drugs were seized by foreign law enforcement agencies, and 21 suspects were apprehended, according to Sun.

The Chinese Customs' anti-smuggling department has contributed to international drug control efforts, including participating in joint law enforcement operations in the Asia-Pacific region, showcasing a sense of responsibility and commitment.

Since 2022, Chinese customs have investigated 1,037 drug smuggling cases and seized 5.3 tons of cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs.

"The number of drug smuggling cases filed and seized by anti-smuggling department of customs this year has increased from the same period last year," Sun said, adding that 181 drug smuggling crimes were filed and investigated in the first quarter of this year, up 33.3 percent year-on-year, and 2.1 tons of various drugs were seized, 5.2 times that of last year.

As criminals constantly change their methods to evade crackdowns, the difficulty and danger of drug enforcement work have also increased. "We cannot discuss the details of cases because revealing these details would mean an increased risk for drug enforcement personnel, even at the cost of their lives," Sun noted.

The anti-smuggling department of the customs is determined to overcome all challenges and remain steadfast in combating drug smuggling and related crimes, effectively safeguarding national security and the interests of the people, officials said.

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