A couple in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, was jailed yesterday for exporting drugs labeled as "potato chips", the local court said yesterday.
Li Zhanfu and her husband Tian Guowei had been sending drugs abroad by mail since May 2006, according to the Xi'an Intermediate People's Court.
Li was sentenced to 15 years in jail and fined 1.26 million yuan ($185,000), and Tian to 13 years in jail and fined 1.04 million yuan.
Both were convicted of trafficking drugs and operating an illegal business, the General Administration of Customs said.
It was the first and biggest case of selling stimulants through the Internet and the post in Shaanxi to be cracked by Xi'an customs.
It involved 1.5 kg of alprazolam, lorazepam and other psychotropic drugs; more than 10 kinds of stimulants amounting to 173 kg, and about 22 kg of raw materials for the making of stimulants.
In December, Xi'an customs officials suspected something was unusual when the postage for a consignment of chips bound for the United States exceeded the value of the chips, The Shaanxi based Sunshine Daily reported.
After checking the consignment, they found some suspicious white powder that was later identified as lorazepam, a psychotropic drug.
Xi'an customs immediately started investigations, and the couple was arrested in January.
Li and Tian set up a firm called Xi'an Bojin Chemical Technology Company to buy raw materials to make stimulants, which they sold abroad.
They received about $60,700 in remittances between May 2006 and January this year.
(China Daily November 25, 2008)