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Sichuan police crack 'ice' case

POLICE of southwestern China's Sichuan Province said they have cracked a big case of manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine, or "ice," in China, involving 64 medicine manufacturing and trade companies in 21 provinces and cities.

They seized 104.4 tons of raw materials, enough to produce 10.9 tons of "ice," valued around 217 million yuan (US$31.8 million). They also broke up five criminal gangs and seized 85 people, today's Chengdu Evening News reported.

Yibing City police started an investigation in April after receiving a report from the local food and drug supervisory administration authority while cooperating with their peers in northeastern China's Jilin Province on an earlier drug case, the newspaper said.

The Yibing drug authority discovered that a batch of ephedrine-containing compounds went missing and contacted police, suspecting they could be used for illegal use.

The police mobilized more than 80 drug and crime squad officers, making queries in 21 provinces and cities including Jilin, Anhui and Hubei provinces as well as the Xinjiang Uygur and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions.

The officers seized 104.4 tons of ephedrine compound drugs from 64 medicine manufacturing and distribution firms. About 13.6 tons of ephedrine could be extracted from the compounds and used to produce 10.9 tons of ice, police said.

Police broke up five criminal gangs and caught 85 people, of which 45 have been arrested and charged.

They also raided eight ephedrine and "ice" processing workshops where 44 tons of ephedrine-containing compounds was seized as well as 18.2 million yuan, three guns, 10 bullets, 21 automobiles and 10 apartments.


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