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June 27, 2019

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No let-up in China’s crusade against drug crime

Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China’s Yunnan Province is a major front in the country’s battle against drug crime, as it borders the Golden Triangle known for rampant drug production and trafficking.

The prefecture, which has a 503-kilometer border without natural barriers, constitutes a major drug trafficking channel, said Zhang Junhua, a police officer with the border control detachment of Dehong.

Drug-related crimes rank third in the total number of criminal cases in China, following dangerous driving and theft.

“In face of the severe and complex drug control situation, we have built a three-dimensional border drug control network to effectively curb the infiltration of drugs from abroad,” Zhang added.

Since the beginning of this year, 218 drug cases have been uncovered by the border control detachment with 197 suspects arrested, Zhang said on the eve of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (also known as World Drug Day) yesterday.

The achievement stands as part of China’s steadfast efforts to counter drug crimes. In crackdowns between 2013 to 2018, police departments in China solved around 850,000 drug-related cases and busted 34,000 criminal organizations involved in drug manufacturing and dealing.

They also apprehended more than 1 million suspects and confiscated a total of 482 tons of drugs.

Severe blow

In 2014, a guideline on national anti-narcotics work was released by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council.

Law enforcement agencies have also stepped up efforts in the crackdown on cross-border drug trafficking.

The measures include strengthening border checks, implementing a real-name policy in the express delivery sector and enhancing law enforcement in key provincial-level regions.

The country also beefed up its law enforcement efforts against online drug-related crimes.

Since a guideline was released in 2015, China has shut down about 1,000 websites involved in drug crimes, with 73,000 suspects apprehended.

These efforts have significantly improved the country’s anti-narcotics situation.

Statistics from the National Narcotics Control Commission showed that in 2018, the number of new drug users in China decreased by 26.6 percent from the previous year.

Notable achievement

From 2018 to May 2019, procuratorial organs nationwide approved arrests of a total of 139,084 individuals in drug-related criminal cases, which accounted for 9.45 percent of all the arrests in criminal cases, down 9.69 percent year on year, Chen Guoqing, deputy procurator-general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP), said on Tuesday.

A total of 164,494 individuals in narcotics criminal cases were prosecuted during the same period, accounting for 7.07 percent of all those prosecuted in criminal cases, down 9.63 percent year on year, Chen added.

“China has witnessed a drop in both the number of arrests approved by procuratorial organs in drug-related criminal cases and the number of such cases prosecuted since last year,” Chen said, noting that the high incidence of drug-related crimes has been curbed.

Increasingly deepened international cooperation concerning drug control have well-served domestic drug control campaigns.

China has established annual drug control meeting mechanisms with 13 countries as well as liaison offices in countries such as Myanmar, Vietnam and Mongolia.

Intelligence exchanges and law enforcement cooperation with the United States, Russia, Canada and New Zealand have also been enhanced.

As of the end of 2018, there are 39,000 community-based drug detoxification and rehabilitation centers across China.

Over 2 million former drug users have not relapsed for three years since rehabilitation, 2.3 times the number in 2013.

A total of 770,000 former drug users have received help in finding employment and started new lives.

There were about 2.4 million drug users nationwide at the end of 2018, down 5.8 percent from the year before, according to the national narcotics control commission.


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