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9-province drug ring busted

China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-15 09:15

JINAN - Chinese police have broken up a drug manufacturing and distribution ring comprising 19 members in nine provinces. The public security bureau of Weifang, Shandong province, confirmed on Thursday that it caught the suspects and seized 200 kilograms of drugs and 300 kg of production materials.

Detectives said they received their first tip from the public in July 2016, when residents suspected dangerous chemicals had caused the rupture of a sewage pipeline.

Police discovered that an apartment in the community had been sold immediately after residents complained, and were told that the former owner often used big plastic buckets to dump waste. Police suspected the waste consisted of drugmaking chemicals.

The bureau set up a task force to trace a suspect surnamed Pan. Investigators discovered that he frequently made online purchases of chemical reaction vessels and detergents. He also frequently mailed goods nationwide. Investigators later confirmed that the goods were methcathinone, a drug similar to amphetamine.

Police arrested Pan and another accomplice in January.

During the interrogation, police learned that Pan had joined a social media chat group in which people could order chemicals for 10,000 yuan ($1,500) per kg to produce homemade drugs, which in turn had a street value of 16,000 yuan per kg.

The information led to the arrest of the other drugmakers and dealers, and raids on eight drug-dealing networks and five production workshops.

In recent years, the number of drug manufacturing cases in residential communities has risen. Earlier this week, police in Hubei province broke up a drug gang that was posing as household renovators. Thirteen suspects were caught.

Police confiscated more than 20 kilograms of yaba (a stimulant made of methamphetamine and caffeine), 20 kilograms of drug components, various drugmaking equipment and a number of weapons.


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