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Customs Fights Drug Smuggling Cases
Customs authorities nationwide have uncovered 59 cases of drug smuggling involving a record 849 kilograms of narcotics, netting 99 suspects by June 16 this year, official sources said.

The amount of narcotics seized was four times that of the same period last year, according to the latest report released in Beijing yesterday by the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

"GAC's anti-smuggling forces have succeeded in ferreting out a series of major cases involving large amounts of drugs during its special crackdown over drug-trafficking and organized crime rings in the first six months," a spokesman with GAC said.

The biggest crackdown was made in Huangpu of Guangdong Province on May 9, when 375 kilograms of heroin and two tons of drug-making chemicals were seized as customs officers busted an organized crime ring and arrested 19 members.

In Shanghai, China's largest commercial hub, customs discovered 297 kilograms of phentermine hidden in the luggage of four suspects. It was the largest case of its kind in recent years there.

During three other major operations, 59 kilograms of ketamine, 12.3 kilograms of methyl amphetamine or "ice" and 63 kilograms of cannabis resin have been intercepted in Xiamen, Shenzhen and Tibet.

GAC attributed the successes to its upgraded anti-drug equipment, intensified personnel training and the use of more anti-drug dogs.

A GAC expert said he was confident that "new equipment can play an increasing role in discovering various drugs."

"Some new types of portable anti-drug monitors and special facilities capable of finding drugs in passing vehicles have also been put into operation in some areas," he disclosed.

A network of monitoring actions against drug traffickers is taking shape in China through effective information exchanges between the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao along with close co-operations between many domestic law-enforcement departments.

(China Daily June 25, 2002)

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