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China Strikes Hard on Drug Crimes
"Never even think of trying it just once, otherwise you will be trapped forever by its evil influence," said a 30-year-old drug addict surnamed Liu, when recalling his nightmare-like experience of taking heroin at a drug-rehabilitation center in Beijing.

Liu made his decision to break the habit after living in a drug hell for several years, during which his heartbroken father was killed in a traffic accident.

Like Liu, the health of tens of thousands of drug addicts has been destroyed due to the spread of drugs in recent years. What is worse is that drug addiction also breeds crime, said drug control experts.

Statistics from the Ministry of Public Security indicated that at least 25,000 people had died of drug abuse in recent years. In some provinces and regions more than 30 percent of robberies and burglaries were committed by drug addicts.

To contain the rapid expansion of drug trafficking, fight against drug-related crimes and help addicts kick the habit, large numbers of anti-drug police and frontier guards have dedicated all their strength, with some even contributing their lives.

In Southwest China's Yunnan Province, which neighbors the notorious Golden Triangle of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, frontier police have cracked down on 9,748 drug trafficking cases since 1993 and seized 12,434 suspects and confiscated 31.8 tons of drugs.

In order to safeguard local residents, Yin Mingzhi, an ordinary soldier with Zhangfeng frontier inspection station in Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture, lost his life while hunting down drug traffickers.

After Yin's death at the young age of 18, his younger sister Yin Mingyan followed his footsteps and became an anti-drug soldier.

On June 1, frontier police at the Mukang inspection station stopped two nervous looking passengers, reported the People's Daily.

After interrogation and inspection, the police found 200 grams of fine heroin on the women.

During dozens of gun fights with drug traffickers in recent years, five frontier soldiers and officers in Yunnan died and 26 were injured, statistics showed.

"Don't call them anti-drug heroes, they are just doing their job," said Dong Sheng, deputy director-general of Yunnan Provincial Narcotics Control Committee.

(China Daily June 26, 2003)

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