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China captures 169,000 drug crime suspects last year

Updated: Jun 24,2015 4:45 PM     Xinhua

Liu Yuejin (L), assistant minister of public security, speaks at a press conference in Beijing, capital of China, June 24, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

China captured 169,000 drug crime suspects last year, 60 percent of whom were under the age of 35, with nearly 90 percent having failed to finish middle school, according to a report released on June 24.

The report on China’s drug situation, the first released by the Chinese government, said drug smuggling is rampant and “more and more organized and professional, and carried out in covert and cunning ways through multiple and constantly changing channels.”

“While traditional drug trafficking such as concealment in human bodies or cars, and trafficking by road are still prevalent, new methods have emerged, such as trafficking online, by post, by air express and through the logistics system,” the report said.

The suspects were from a variety of social groups, including workers, farmers, students and private business owners, but nearly 70 percent were unemployed, mostly from underdeveloped areas.

“Tempted by profits, they are hired or used by drug dealers to engage in trafficking, which not only endangers society, but is also harmful to themselves and their families,” the report said.

China had 2.95 million registered drug addicts at the end of 2014, but the real number of those who have used narcotics is thought to exceed 14 million, the Ministry of Public Security said on June 24.

That means one out of every 100 Chinese may have used drugs, said Liu Yuejin, assistant minister of public security.

Although the spread of traditional drugs such as heroine has been curbed, the number of identified synthetic drug addicts has risen sharply to 1.46 million, six times the number in 2008.