Crack­down tar­gets mailed drugs

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By LI WENFANG in Guangzhou li­wen­fang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Guangzhou Cus­toms of­fi­cers have seized 31 for­eign sus­pects since Oc­to­ber in a cam­paign tar­get­ing in­creased drugs smug­gling by parcels and mail.

Ar­rests of for­eign drug smug­glers in­crease ev­ery year, of­fi­cials said. They come mainly from Africa and South Asia.

Of­fi­cers solved 50 cases, dis­man­tled seven gangs and seized 106 kg of drugs and 42 sus­pects, said Luo Yinbo, deputy chief of Guangzhou Cus­toms on Thurs­day.

In the cam­paign, drugs were found in rock su­gar, a pot of plas­tic flow­ers, the hems of dresses, the limbs and heads of dolls and in in­duc­tion cook­ers all in mailed pack­ages. Of the 178 drug smug­gling cases solved by Guangzhou of­fi­cers this year, 105 in­volved mailed items or courier packs.

Mail­ing and couri­ers have be­come key chan­nels for in­ter­na­tional drug rings, and it is dif­fi­cult to get ev­i­dence be­cause nei­ther the sen­der nor re­ceiver is present, and some mail­ing in­for­ma­tion is fake, Luo said.

In one case, a cus­toms of­fi­cer sta­tioned at a post of­fice in Guangzhou found metham­phetamine hid­den in a par­cel des­tined for In­done­sia in late Septem­ber.

A sus­pect from Ghana was caught in mid-Novem­ber try­ing to mail a pack­age with metham­phetamine. More was found in pil­lows and a sofa in the sus­pect’s rented house, with a to­tal of 1.51 kg con­fis­cated.

Fac­ing the chal­lenges, Guangzhou Cus­toms re­quires courier com­pa­nies to check all parcels, and has of­fered them train­ing.

Guangzhou Cus­toms plans to sign an agree­ment with postal and courier com­pa­nies to en­hance co­or­di­na­tion.

Among the 107 smug­gling sus­pects caught this year, 82 were for­eign­ers.

Cus­toms of­fi­cials have ex­panded co­op­er­a­tion with their coun­ter­parts in coun­tries and re­gions in­clud­ing Hong Kong, Ma­cao, the United States, Aus­tralia and Sin­ga­pore, said Cui Qingchao, deputy head of the anti-smug­gling po­lice at Guangzhou Cus­toms.

Guangzhou Cus­toms has re­ported more than 10 cases in­volv­ing chem­i­cals that can eas­ily be used to make drugs to cus­toms of­fi­cials in Pak­istan, where the mail orig­i­nated.

It also in­formed its coun­ter­part in Bangladesh about sus­pects in a case in­volv­ing 89 kg of heroin.

Given that many of the pack­ages with drugs were bound for Aus­tralia re­cently, Guangzhou of­fi­cers cre­ated a rapid re­sponse mech­a­nism in co­or­di­na­tion with their Aus­tralian coun­ter­parts, Cui said.

Drugs smug­gled from abroad, in­clud­ing South­east Asia and Cen­tral and South Asian coun­tries, are the main sources that feed un­der­ground drug use across China, Liu Yue­jin, di­rec­tor of the nar­cotics depart­ment at the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity, said in an in­ter­view ear­lier this year.

China has also es­tab­lished ju­di­cial co­op­er­a­tion with South­east Asian coun­tries and is pro­mot­ing law en­force­ment co­op­er­a­tion with some coun­tries in Cen­tral and South Asia.

It is try­ing to deepen ju­di­cial co­op­er­a­tion with North Amer­i­can and Euro­pean coun­tries to im­prove in­tel­li­gence ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion in in­di­vid­ual cases, Liu said.

CHI ZHAOEN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Anti-smug­gling po­lice with Guangzhou Cus­toms dis­play drugs seized from mail and parcels.

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