12,000 Arrested in China’s Online Battle Against Drugs

China’s police arrested 12,125 suspects during a recent nationwide campaign against Internet-based drug addiction and sale, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) announced Sunday.

Police across the country busted 144 rings involved in drug production and trafficking and 22 secret drug-producing sites, and confiscated 308.3 kg of illicit drugs.

The battle was conducted after some criminal suspects were found to be using online video platform to conduct sales and gather drug addicts, said Liu Yujing, a senior narcotics control official with the MPS.

In March, police in the cities of Lanzhou and Xi’an in west China found some people were getting and selling drugs through chatting in online chatting room, which were usually inaccessible to outsiders.

New comers could only be allowed to enter the online chatting room after being introduced by “acquaintances” and performing drug-addiction through the online video, Liu said.

The MPS soon launched a nationwide battle to fight against online drug-related activities on August 31, and started tightening the net to seize the suspects on September 2.

Among the 12,125 arrested suspects, 66.2 percent are young people under 35 years old, and 2.6 percent are under 18, with the youngest being 14 years old, according to Liu.

Criminal suspects turned to the Internet for drug addiction and distribution for it is harder for them to be detected in such way, said Liu, urging websites and those concerned to take their responsibility in fighting such illegal activities.

Meanwhile, Liu said China’s existing laws and regulations should be upgraded to facilitate the legal handling of such cases involving Internet-based drug-related crimes.

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