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Crescent crimes on rise

CHINA is seeing an increasing number of drug crimes related to the "Golden Crescent," with the amount of heroin smuggled from the area to China climbing "noticeably" in recent years, an anti-drug official said in Beijing yesterday.

"China saw a limited number of drug crimes related to the Golden Crescent, which overlaps Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, in the 13 years from 1991 to 2004," said Li Xianhui, an official in charge of anti-drug operations with the Ministry of Public Security. "But the situation has changed a lot now," he said.

China, with more than 1.12 million registered addicts, busted 244 drug crimes related to the Golden Crescent last year. Those cases involved 281 suspects and 386 kilograms of heroin.

"The numbers are larger than those from 2001 to 2004 combined," he said.

However, Li said the Golden Triangle, which encompasses Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand, remained China's largest overseas drug source.


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