POLICE have detained 13 suspects and seized nearly 20 kilograms of ketamine and 200 kilograms of raw materials in the city's biggest drug case this year.
More than a ton of smuggled drugs are incinerated at a square in Dongquan City of south China's Guangdong Province yesterday on the eve of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The drugs were seized after Guangdong police cracked a series of heroin smuggling cases in October. The action echoed a historic event in 1839 when Lin Zexu, of the Qing Dynasty, burned 1,000 tons of smuggled opium confiscated from foreign dealers in the same area. From January 2009 to May 2010, Chinese customs broke up 657 drug smuggling cases and arrested 721 suspects, said the National Narcotics Control Commission.
The suspects formed a drug production and selling network, police said, with a drug factory established in southern China's Guangdong Province.
Police said Lu Minhua, a 43-year-old local, set up the factory.
Anti-drug police in Xuhui District noticed after the Spring Festival that two managers of an entertainment venue in Zhejiang Province were coming to the city almost once a week only to return home the same day.
Police discovered that they came to the city regularly to buy drugs from a man nicknamed A Si. Police judged the amount of drugs involved to be huge since the trips were so frequent.
On March 1, the two Zhejiang buyers were apprehended as they were about to leave the city. It was then that police learned that Lu was the person behind A Si.
On the move
Police in Shanghai and Guangdong formed a joint team to investigate.
But Lu was difficult to find, police said. He didn't live with his wife and son but had several residences and was always on the move.
However, they learned that Lu was due at a teacher-parent conference at his son's school at the end of May and police in plain clothes caught up with him there.
Lu told police that he went to Guangdong to study drug production three years ago after he learned about the huge profits to be made. After mastering the technology, Lu set up a factory and produced a large amount of ketamine. He asked A Si, who had many clients, to sell the drugs.
Before he was arrested, Lu was planning to experiment with making ice, or methamphetamine, he said.
The factory was raided and suspects detained. Police said the 200 kilograms of raw materials would have produced more than 300 kilograms of final product.
Lu has been taken to Guangdong by the police in the province for further investigation.
Shanghai has 32,716 drug users, with 217 new ones found in the first quarter this year. A total of 938 drug cases were reported in the first five months, a rise of 25.7 percent over the same period last year.
By Xu Fang | 2010-6-26
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