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Major drug smuggling ring dismantled in Shenzhen

By Zhou Mo and Wang Xu in Shenzhen, Guangdong | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-24 09:37

Anti-smuggling bureau of Shenzhen Customs revealed its drug control achievements for the past year on Saturday, saying it dismantled a major drug smuggling ring and seized 1.12 metric tons of cocaine, methamphetamine and other narcotics.

The announcement came before the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking that will fall on Wednesday.

"Cross-border drug smuggling has become increasingly active," said Zhang Junqiang, head of Shenzhen Customs' anti-smuggling bureau. "Criminal organizations often disguise illegal shipments as legitimate cargo to evade detection."

In the biggest bust of the year, Shenzhen Customs collaborated with Hong Kong Customs to seize 621 kilograms of cocaine hidden in wooden blocks shipped from the Americas. The smuggling ring had conducted multiple test shipments before attempting to move the drugs, highlighting the evolving tactics employed by traffickers.

"In-depth risk analysis and collaboration with different departments were crucial for this operation," said Liu Weipeng, from the bureau's investigation division. "Machine scanning, drug-sniffing dogs and close cooperation with Hong Kong authorities led to the discovery of the cleverly concealed narcotics."

The operation resulted in the arrest of four people and also led to the seizure of an additional 264 kilograms of methamphetamine in a subsequent raid on a warehouse in Hong Kong.

Zhang said the bureau is committed to combating drug trafficking through strengthened collaboration with domestic and international law enforcement agencies. It is also prioritizing public awareness campaigns to educate communities and schools about the dangers of illegal drugs.

China has a strict anti-drug policy with harsh penalties for drug offenses. According to the Criminal Law, anyone convicted of smuggling, trafficking, transporting or manufacturing drugs, regardless of the quantity, faces potential criminal punishment, including life imprisonment or the death penalty.

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