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Colleagues laud drug squad leader who never rests on his laurels

By YANG ZEKUN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-08-02 08:46

Yang Liyong (center) talks with colleagues. 

"I refuse to believe that I can't solve this case," is what drug squad officer Yang Liyong often tells his colleagues.

The 52-year-old, who is head of the anti-drug brigade at the Baiyun district branch of the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau in Guangdong province, joined the police in 1994.

As a major transportation hub, Baiyun has a large floating population and is home to aviation, land and water traffic. Large and medium-sized enterprises and logistics businesses in the area account for 65 percent of the city's transportation load, making the district one of the biggest freight distribution centers in the province, which can aid the spread of illegal drugs.

In December 2015, due to its prominent problems of drug transit and distribution, Baiyun was included in a list of key rectification areas by the China National Narcotic Control Committee.

Four months later, Yang was appointed head of the district's anti-drug brigade.

Since then, he has led officers in more than 3,000 cases, dealt with more than 25,000 drug-related suspects and seized more than 2,000 kilograms of narcotics.

Anti-drug work is full of hardships and dangers, and although the team takes sufficient precautions, suspects sometimes carry weapons, meaning each operation is full of uncertainty, Yang said.

"There is no time for fear when confronting suspects. What we have to do is ensure our safety and detain suspects as quickly as possible," he said

In June 2017, the district's officers discovered a batch of drugs at a logistics warehouse. The drugs were hidden inside the packaging of polishing machines that were about to be exported to Indonesia.

After careful investigation and deployment, and with the help of the Indonesian drug control authorities, the 250 kg of methamphetamine were sent to Indonesia as per the original plan. Local police detained the suspects as they were taking receipt of the drugs.

In that case, police in the provinces of Guangdong and Shaanxi also detained seven suspects, seizing 5 kg of methamphetamine and about 1 million yuan ($147,800) in cash.

In March last year, the anti-drug brigade unearthed a drug dealer who was working with counterparts from Vietnam, and whose delivery channels covered Guangdong's Pearl River Delta region.

An investigation showed that the suspect was an army veteran who was equipped with guns and grenades, and had threatened to kill himself and anyone who tried to catch him.

The information didn't deter Yang, who led a team to capture the suspect on March 18. The moment the man left his house, Yang overpowered him, confiscating two loaded guns.

The officers later captured seven pistols, five standard military grenades, about 200 bullets and six swords, as well as a consignment of drugs.

"If we recall generations of anti-drug police officers, they fought battles of wits and courage against drug traffickers. There have been difficulties, twists and turns, bloodshed and sacrifice, but the fight against drugs has not stopped for one moment," Yang said.

"To be an anti-drug officer, you need to have a dream, which is very simple-to create a world without drugs."

He believes that the fight will not end until all the narcotics have disappeared. He refuses to rest on his current achievements, but continues to adapt to new situations and implement anti-drug measures based on local conditions.

Yang has led his team to continually improve the quality of intelligence and work with the local situation to establish an information team to collect, analyze and assess various clues. The information is sent to police stations so they can carry out precision strikes. The district's experiences are also being promoted across the province.

He has also made great efforts to train professional logistics management personnel, organized a series of rectifications in the industry and developed a control system for receiving and posting the sector's activities to block the channels of drug transit and distribution.

Meanwhile, he has combined the work of cracking down on drug-related crime with the control and support of users, employing education to promote the anti-drug message among teenagers.

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