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Gangsters muscling their way into drugs

[ 2009-06-26 16:30]     字号 [] [] []  
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Drug-related crimes are growing at an alarming rate and are increasingly characterized by gangs and violence, a senior official of the top court said yesterday.

"A majority of drug crimes are now linked to gangs," Zhang Jun, vice-president of the Supreme People's Court (SPC), told a press conference yesterday.

Last year, courts dealt with nearly 44,000 drug cases, up by a third year on year. More than 50,000 criminals were sentenced, of whom a third received sentences ranging from five years in prison to capital punishment.

During the first five months of this year, courts handled 14,282 cases, up by 12 per cent year on year.

There is also a rising number of cases involving drug production, usually in large quantities, Zhang said.

"There is a growing trend toward making ketamine on the mainland instead of smuggling it from abroad; and, also, there are more cases of smuggling and trading of chemical raw materials for drug production," he said.

The official said criminals are also using new methods for making and transporting drugs. They rent residential apartments in populous places for production, deliver drugs in mail and even use human mules.

Pregnant women or nursing mothers are also being used, as they do not normally face the death penalty if convicted.

Under the Criminal Law, anyone who smuggles, trades, transports, manufactures or possesses 1 kg or more of drugs is liable to a minimum of seven years' imprisonment. The maximum penalty is death.

The SPC has unified the standards for capital punishment and those liable include drug traffickers using force or participating in international deals, dealers instigating minors to deliver, trade or use drugs, and those providing venues for drug addicts or drug manufacturers.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Gangsters muscling their way into drugs

About the broadcaster:

Gangsters muscling their way into drugs

Siberian-born Kristina Koveshnikova is a freelance journalist from New Zealand who has worked in print, television and film. After completing a BCS degree majoring in journalism, she won an Asia NZ Foundation/Pacific Media Centre award to work for China Daily website. Kristina previously did internships at ABC 7 News in Washington DC and TVNZ in New Zealand and has written for a number of publications, including The New Zealand Herald and East & Bays Courier.