In his ten years working for the drug enforcement division of the Guangzhou customs bureau, Zheng Xixin, 32, has earned his stripes fighting on the front lines against drug traffickers.
Zheng Xixin: Drug Fighter
On September 4, 2006, a criminal who hid drugs inside his body was seized at Guangzhou customs for the first time, which aroused significant government attention. The customs bureau soon after deployed its "Falcon" anti-drug operation to handle similar cases.
Zheng can still remember those days vividly. "One time two suspects denied hiding drugs inside their bodies, so we analyzed the X-ray and CT of the suspects and made repeated comparisons. We showed them our evidence. The suspects eventually confessed." Zheng said.
Zheng said that due to the large amount of suspected traffickers who hide drugs inside their bodies, internal inspections became part of his routine. Zheng has performed all-day inspections on a large number of suspects who have been detained by customs. In a special hospital ward, Zheng was also responsible for gruesome tasks like examining the discharged feces from suspects for drugs.
"When I graduated from the academy, I knew police should be ready to obey orders. But I had no idea that I'd be looking for drugs in feces with my own hands, and for five years!" Zheng recalled, laughing. In the five years he retained this duty, Zheng became an expert in performing the searches, able to give a precise analysis of CT scan images to locate any contraband. His reputation earned him the title of "anorectal surgery chief" by his colleagues.
Finding evidence in the examination room is only the tip of the iceberg of Zheng's experience as a drug enforcement officer. Drug trafficking is very complicated and intertwined. Traffickers not only use poor foreigners as "mules" to carry drugs across borders, but also collaborate with local staff to carry and hide the drugs. Over time, Zheng became experienced in all areas of enforcement, from covert operations to arrests.
In October 2006, Zheng and his fellow agents organized a sting operation involving previously captured offenders in order to track down a notorious drug dealer. After waiting for six whole days, on the seventh night Zheng and his team captured their target successfully. Five years later, in May 2011, Zheng's team uncovered a drug smuggling syndicate which had also employed domestic staff.
Zheng also recalled an arrest he made one time near the Guangzhou Liuhua Railway Station. There, an African drug trafficker was quietly waiting for his conspirator.
"Every time the dealers trade drugs, they choose places like stations and streets." Zheng said. "We can't use weapons but we run after them. I will never let the dealer disappear in the crowd." Zheng and his colleagues scattered themselves among the pedestrians, and closed in for the final capture. The dealers noticed and ran desperately to the middle of the road. Without hesitation, Zheng sprinted toward the 2-meter-tall smuggler and tackled him to the ground.
In the eyes of his colleagues, Zheng is not only a workaholic, but a perfectionist. "When we see him, we know we have our backbone and we feel at ease." said one colleague.
"The fight against the drug traffickers requires a combination of wisdom and strength. Any carelessness may lead us into danger." Zheng said. "You can't be too careful," Zheng said.
"Customs is the forefront in the fight against drugs in our country, so we should never retreat," Zheng said.