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China, neighbors arrest thousands in drug crimes joint operation

Updated: Nov 29,2016 10:03 AM     Xinhua

KUNMING — A six-nation joint operation to crack down on rampant drug crimes along the Lancang-Mekong region has seized 12.7 tonnes of narcotics, arrested 9,927 suspects and confiscated a huge number of firearms over three months, Chinese police said on Nov 28.

Also seized were 55.2 tonnes of chemicals to be used in drug manufacturing, police announced at a ceremony held in southwest China’s Yunnan province to mark the end of the latest anti-doping joint operation launched by China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Police said the coordinating command center set up by the six nations played a key role in sharing information to help police conduct raids. In one prominent case, 1.73 tonnes of ice — crystal methamphetamine — was seized in Myanmar due to a tip-off from Thai intelligence officers. It was the biggest ever ice trafficking case in Myanmar.

The 5,000-km waterways of the Lancang and Mekong rivers, crossing the territories of the six nations, were notorious for drug trafficking due to lax law enforcement, spawning many armed-drug syndicates. Since 2013, joint patrols by Lancang-Mekong countries have become commonplace, putting checks on drug crimes.

Liu Yuejin, deputy director of China’s National Narcotics Control Commission, said the nations will step up joint campaigns, and work closely on investigation, evidence gathering and exchange, joint trials, and the transfer of suspects, as the cooperation continues.