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Narcotics trafficking cases up
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The number of drug trafficking cases in the country in the first nine months of the year jumped 40 percent year-on-year, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said yesterday.

Border police detected 265 drug-smuggling cases from January to September, seizing about 436 kg of narcotics.

More drug trafficking cases were reported from port cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai, as well as big cities including Beijing, Hangzhou, Kunming and Urumqi.

"More domestic and foreign drug traffickers are smuggling drugs to or via China posing a great threat to the country's social stability," said deputy director of GAC's anti-smuggling bureau Xia Shouda.

Drugs are more likely to be smuggled in from the Golden Crescent, comprising the mountainous regions of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, than the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia, he said.

Since the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is often used as a transit point for drugs smuggled in from the Golden Crescent, customs officials in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, launched a special crackdown in summer. They uncovered eight major drug smuggling cases and seized about 30 kg of heroin.

Xia said more cases involving "human mules", people who swallow heroin and other drugs in condoms or small plastic sachets to smuggle them, had been detected.

Customs officials in Guangzhou said seven of the eight drug-smuggling cases detected at the city's Baiyun Airport from September 21 to 25 involved "human mules".

(China Daily October 26, 2007)

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