Traffic patrol officers discovered 11 woven bags crammed with 22,000 detonators during a routine security inspection on the morning of June 24 at a checkpoint on Jinghu Expressway.
The incident is reportedly the the biggest case of contraband interception since the Olympic Safeguarding Service was launched. The officers who discovered the items are from Qingxian squad in the No.4 Division of the Hebei Expressway traffic patrol police department.
Could have caused "catastrophic" consequences
On the morning of June 24, Officers Zhang Dong, Guo Jiantie and Li Zhenhua were conducting a directed inspection of Olympics-related licence plates on behalf of the Olympic Safeguarding Service.
While examining a plateless Guangzhou Honda heading north at about 10 AM, Officer Zhang found 11 woven bags on the back seat of the vehicle. On closer examination, the bags contained more than 22,000 highly explosive electronic detonators.
The drivers said they bought the detonators at a black market in Liangshan, Shandong Province at the request of a coal miner who needed them for mine exploration in Tangshan.
Each detonator is equivalent to 8 kilos of dynamite and 22,000 detonators amount to about 17.6 tons of explosive material, said Instructor Zhou Jingzhi of the Qingxian Squad.
"Should these detonators go off on the road, the consequence would be catastrophic," he said.
(China.org.cn by Chen Boyuan, July 23, 2008)