CHINA – The number of drug addicts in China had increased to 2.26 million as of late June, up 16.5 percent from June 2012, the minister of public security said on Monday.
Guo Shengkun, also a State councilor, vowed to crack down on illegal drug production and trafficking with heavy punishment, noting that the number of China’s registered drug addicts has doubled in the last five years.
Guo made the remarks during a meeting of the China National Narcotics Control Commission on Monday morning.
Public security authorities have found illegal drug-making activities in 28 of the 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities on the Chinese mainland, he said.
Illegal drug dealing has become more difficult to trace because drug dealers now use Express Mail Service, the Internet, pregnant women and disabled people to traffic drugs, Guo said.
Chiang Rai’s Golden Triangle – the area that borders Myanmar, Thailand and Laos – remains the biggest source of China’s drugs, he said.
The China Narcotics Control Commission, established in 1990, has members from 38 ministries and commissions, including the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce. Guo is also director of the narcotics commission.
About 85,000 drug-dealing cases were investigated last year, of which 4,596 cases involved more than 1 kilogram of drugs, the ministry said.
Under China’s Criminal Law, those who smuggle, sell, traffic or produce 50 grams or more of heroin can receive a death sentence.
A new trend is the production of psychoactive substances that have a similar chemical structure and medical effects as controlled drugs but are not controlled drugs themselves, the ministry said.
Some small chemical factories in coastal regions receive orders from overseas markets, produce psychoactive substances and export them, the ministry said.
Police have found about 60 such psychoactive substances, it said.
Nan Ying, vice-president of the Supreme People’s Court, said legislators are revising the Criminal Law, and the narcotics commission should suggest to the legislators the penalties related to various psychoactive substances.