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Prison terms for allowing foreigners to use drugs

SEVEN people in Beijing have been found guilty and imprisoned for allowing foreigners to use drugs at the bars they ran.

The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court sentenced Liu Hailiang, manager of a café at the popular bar street, Sanlitun, Chen Qi, a pub runner, and five others, to prison terms ranging from 18 months to two-and-a-half years, China News Service reported today.

They were also fined between 3,000 yuan (US$439) and 5,000 yuan.

The court found the seven people charged, including Chen Qiang, Jiang Nan, Zhang Shuai, Chen Yanwei and LI Ang, had allowed foreigners to take drugs like marijuana at their bars from 2007 to April 2008.

The court said all of them had allowed others to use their premises to take drugs and Zhang, who had been convicted previously for drug-related offences, should serve a heavier punishment.

Beijing police learned last March that some bars at Sanlitun were involved in drug taking or vending.

A task force found the street was popular with drug addicts and dealers.

More than 100 police officers raided the street at about 10pm on April 4, arresting 36 people and seizing 2,400 grams of heroine and ecstasy.

Eleven others were arrested later including four foreigners. Two faced charges of selling drugs, one was charged with possession of drugs and another charged with forging official documents and certificates.


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