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Get-tough Policy in Fight on Narcotics
Drug control agencies and all levels of government are being urged to join forces in the war against narcotics dealers and drug-related crimes on the eve of International Anti-Drug Day.

In a stark warning to those who profit from a trade that blights and destroys lives, three leading traffickers were yesterday executed in south China.

The same day, and also in Guangdong Province, judges sentenced 18 other defendants convicted of drug dealing to either the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Shanghai Customs officials yesterday announced a bust in a major smuggling case of psychotropic substances found in January and February, confiscating more than 8,000 diazepam pills.

Illegal drug trafficking not only brings about rampant criminal behavior but also disturbs the public order and social stability, Zhou Yongkang, head of the China Narcotics Control Commission (NNCC), told a recent conference.

In an all-out effort to crack down on illegal drug trafficking, Chinese police arrested 90,000 suspects for drug-related offences last year while confiscating 9.29 tons of heroin, 3.19 tons of crystal methamphetamine (ice), 3 million ecstasy pills and more than 300 tons of chemical narcotic elements.

Still, China's drug fighters have to deal with new problems and tougher situations in narcotics control, said Zhou, who is also the minister of public security.

Owing largely to easy access to the notorious Golden Triangle, a narcotics hotbed located on the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, the nation has witnessed increasing drug infiltration. Drug transportation and distribution in Yunnan and Guangdong provinces has been rampant in recent years.

To deal with this grave situation, the NNCC has hammered out an ambitious plan to fight back. A large-scale education campaign has been launched throughout the nation and the construction of more drug-free communities and counties is under way, said the minister.

(China Daily June 26, 2003)

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