Date
11 December 2017
Drugs like crystal meth are spreading among China's urban middle class. Photo: mop.com
Drugs like crystal meth are spreading among China's urban middle class. Photo: mop.com

China arrests 60,000 in multi-city drug sweep

Chinese authorities have arrested 60,500 people for drug-related crimes and seized 11.14 tonnes of narcotics in a massive, multi-city sweep, Reuters reported Friday, citing the official Xinhua news agency.

Police handled 52,800 drug crime cases from late September to December during a campaign dubbed “Ban drugs in hundreds of cities”, Xinhua said, quoting the Ministry of Public Security.

The campaign will last until April.

The ministry has said about 180,000 drug users were punished by mid-December, 55,679 of whom were sent to compulsory rehabilitation centres.

Illegal drugs, especially synthetics like methamphetamine (ice), ketamine and ecstasy, have become popular in China with the rise of the urban middle class.

Authorities have stepped up their efforts to combat drugs, teaming up with neighboring Laos, Myanmar and Thailand to try to stem the flow of drugs from Southeast Asia.

Several celebrities have been arrested on drug charges to put a public spotlight on the problem.

A Beijing court sentenced Jaycee Chan, son of kung fu movie star Jackie Chan, this month to six months in prison on drug charges and fined him 2,000 yuan (US$323).

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