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14-11-06, 06:16
27 foreign drug traffickers arrested in Xinjiang this year



Twenty-seven foreign drug traffickers have been arrested this year in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region amid China's efforts to prevent the influx of heroin from the "Golden Crescent" area of central Asia.

The 27 people came from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Africa, said Jin Peng, an anti-drug smuggling official with the region's public security department.

The regional police have cracked 13 drug trafficking cases involving 53.1 kilograms of heroin since last January, nearly three times the total of last year, according to Jin.

As Xinjiang is promoting trade with its eight neighboring countries, drugs from the Golden Crescent which includes parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran are "pouring" into China across the 5,400 kilometer-long border, Jin said.

"Drug trafficking gangs have created channels and set up a drug purchase, transport, storage and trade network in China," he said.

Low prices and the high purity of the heroin has also encouraged drug traffickers to take the risk, Jin said.

A two-week class began in the cities and prefectures of Urumqi, Kashi and Ili on Nov. 6 to educate policemen, custom officers, train staff and postmen about drug smuggling.

In April 2005, China launched a People's War on Drugs, calling on the public to help rehabilitate drug addicts and offering rewards for information that led to the arrest of traffickers.

The Chinese government also announced plans to support opium replacement planting abroad in the country's first bill on drug control which was introduced to the legislature in August.

The draft law also stipulates that Chinese police should share information with other countries and international organizations and enhance collaboration in drug smuggling investigations.

Southeast Asia's Golden Triangle, an area along the Mekong River delta, including Myanmar, Laos and northern Thailand, has been blamed for most of the country's drug-related problems.

Source: Xinhua