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June 2, 2012

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Drug cases surging in city, led by meth

SHANGHAI is facing a challenge as the city reported a significant surge in drug-related cases this year, the Shanghai Political and Law Commission said yesterday.

Local police dealt with 995 drug-related cases and held 1,114 suspects from January to April, increases of 31.8 percent and 34.4 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

Police also seized 166.4 kilograms of different types of drugs and dealt with 5,527 occasions of people taking drugs in the first four months of this year, reflecting increases of about 50 percent over last year.

Synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine, generally known as "ice," have become the most popular drug among dealers, accounting for 80 percent among all the seized drugs in Shanghai this year. Drug dealers are also communicating and exploring new distribution channels through the Internet, the commission said.

As global drug-prevention efforts turn more serious, Shanghai is affected as it has become one of the domestic transit routes, leading to the surge of cases.

The commission also revealed yesterday that there were 55,686 registered drug takers, and 34,247 of them were still in treatment by the first quarter of this year.

Last month, two Hong Kong men surnamed Lo and Law was sentenced to death with two year' reprieve and 15 years, respectively, for smuggling 5.98 kilograms of cocaine from Qatar to Shanghai last October.

Prosecutors said Lo divided the drugs into 10 packs and hid them in his luggage, which was detected by Customs officers. Both were captured at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.


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