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Copter used for first time for poppy hunt in Beijing

A HELICOPTER was used for the first time yesterday to help local police in poppy plantation hunting in suburb Beijing.

The copter, with experts onboard, hovered around the mountainous areas in Yanqing District and sent video images of the ground back to the headquarters.

"If there is any poppy plantation in these areas, they will be easily discerned by police in the headquarters," said Zhao Wenzhong, a senior officer with the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.

The first hunt, which lasted about half an hour, found no poppy plantation in the region.

He said the helicopter helped expand the search area and eliminate any "dead corner" thanks to the copter's height.

"Some poppy growers, who plant poppies to make drugs, always choose the remote and sparsely populated areas at the border of Beijing and the neighboring Hebei Province," Zhao said.

According to China's law, growing more than 500 poppies is a crime. But several villages in suburb Beijing has a tradition of growing poppies mostly because villagers love the plant's colorful blossoms or they use poppies as medicine ingredients.


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