Beijing: Over 2500 drug peddlers have been arrested and about 9.78 tonnes of drugs seized in a joint operation by police from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand during a two-month long anti-drug campaign, it was announced on Tuesday.
Police arrested 2534 drug peddlers and confiscated 38 firearms, 1,125 bullets, about 3.6 million US dollars in cash and 260 tonnes of chemicals used to produce drugs during the campaign, said Liu Yuejin, director general of the Chinese Public security ministry`s Narcotics Control Bureau.
During the campaign which lasted from April 20 to June 20, police also cracked 1,784 drug-related cases, Liu was quoted as saying by state run Xinhua news agency.
Representatives from Laos, Myanmar and Thailand expressed willingness to maintain a cooperative law enforcement mechanism that was established in March.
China still has many challenges to face in terms of fighting drug-related crime, Liu said.
Liu said the suspects used elderly, pregnant and disabled people to traffic drugs, making it difficult for law enforcement to stop them.
The drugs that Chinese drug users consume are largely produced in foreign countries, with the Golden Triangle accounting for 60 to 70 percent of the drugs consumed, he said.
The government will more closely monitor the production and use of precursor chemicals in order to prevent them from being used to produce drugs, said Liu.
The trafficking of drugs such as heroin, opium and ketamine has been effectively contained in China, but the spread of new drugs will be targeted in the years to come, he said.
China will continue to carry out anti-drug campaigns in cooperation with the United States, Russia, Australia, Canada and the EU, as well as ASEAN and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation member states, Liu added.
The Mekong River, which flows through China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, is a major trade route in southeast Asia.