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2,534 arrested in Mekong anti-drug campaign

2013-07-02 15:50 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

Police from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand have arrested 2,534 suspects and seized about 9.78 tonnes of drugs during a two-month anti-drug campaign, the Ministry of Public Security said Tuesday.

Police confiscated 38 firearms, 1,125 bullets, about 3.6 million U.S. dollars in cash and 260 tonnes of chemicals used to produce drugs during the campaign, Liu Yuejin, director general of the ministry's Narcotics Control Bureau, said at a press conference.

Police also cracked 1,784 drug-related cases during the campaign, which lasted from April 20 to June 20, Liu said.

Representatives from Laos, Myanmar and Thailand expressed willingness to maintain a cooperative law enforcement mechanism that was established in March.

China still has many challenges to face in terms of fighting drug-related crime, Liu said.

Liu said the suspects used elderly, pregnant and disabled people to traffic drugs, making it difficult for law enforcement to stop them.

Liu said the drugs that Chinese drug users consume are largely produced in foreign countries, with the Golden Triangle accounting for 60 to 70 percent of the drugs consumed.

The government will more closely monitor the production and use of precursor chemicals in order to prevent them from being used to produce drugs, Liu said.

The trafficking of drugs such as heroin, opium and ketamine has been effectively contained in China, but the spread of new drugs will be targeted in the years to come, Liu continued.

China will continue to carry out anti-drug campaigns in cooperation with the United States, Russia, Australia, Canada and the EU, as well as ASEAN and Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states, Liu added.

The Mekong River, which flows through China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, is a major trade route in southeast Asia.

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