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July 3, 2010

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Mahjong clubs tied to drug abuse

OWNERS of some Shanghai mahjong parlors have been spiking snacks and fruit with methamphetamine to perk up the customers and keep them playing longer, law-enforcement authorities said yesterday.

Zhabei District People's Court said a suspect surnamed Zhou was sued for providing drugs to his mahjong players since last October. The court said some other owners lured non-addicts into trying drugs by claiming the substances would be "refreshing."

As a popular form of entertainment, mahjong has a large following, especially with middle-aged and older locals.

The city's mahjong parlors could easily be used for drug dealing and abuse, said the court, which reminded local law enforcement departments to be aware.

According to Chinese law, people providing places for drug abuse should be sentenced to imprisonment for less than three years in light of the circumstances.

Drug abuse has also been found in rental houses, hotels and cars, the court added.


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