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Beijing claims progress in fighting drugs
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A senior Beijing police officer says the force has effectively cracked down on drugs with a remarkable increase in the number of suspects arrested and drugs seized.

The number of people arrested in drug-related crimes so far this year was 38 percent more than for the whole of last year, said Beijing deputy police chief Fu Zhenghua said on Thursday.

The amount of drugs seized was up 45 percent and police had dealt with 39 percent more drugs cases, said Fu told a press conference.

Fu declined to elaborate on the figures or give further details.

Last week, Che Kejian, an officer with the drug control department of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, said almost 100 kg of drugs had been confiscated and more than 1,000 people arrested in more than 1,000 drugs related cases.

Fu said the underground narcotics market were crumbling, making it difficult for addicts to obtain drugs.

"Drug sellers are moving to the edges of the city and the scale of drug trafficking is decreasing. Addicts find it is more and more difficult to get drugs," he said.

He also claimed they had slowed the spread of illegal drugs so the proportion of new addicts, defined as those addicted for up to three years, was below the national average.

In a campaign dubbed "Wind and Thunder" launched in May, police raided 900 homes and locations in the districts of Xuanwu, Fengtai and Haidian, arresting 638 people in connection with 490 cases.

In another campaign "Thunderbolt", police broke 12 drug trafficking rings, arrested 110 people and seized 6.2 kg of drugs.

(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2007)

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