China executes 3 Taiwanese for drug trafficking
Beijing: China executed three Taiwanese drug smugglers on Tueday as UN observed International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Beijing said that 9.22 lakh Chinese were sent for "compulsory isolation treatment" in the last four years for drug rehabilitation in the country.
Chen Tianlu, Xu Futai and Wang Zhenzong, all hailing from Taiwan, were executed in Zhangzhou in east China's Fujian province after being convicted of smuggling a popular club drug across the Taiwan Strait.
The executions were carried out after the Supreme People's Court approved their death sentences, officials with the Intermediate Court of Zhangzhou said.
The executions coincide with the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking being observed by United Nations.
The three men were convicted of smuggling hundreds of kilograms of ketamine, a drug popular in Taiwan's nightclubs, from Fujian to Taiwan by boat from 2009 to 2010.
They were arrested in Fujian during drug transactions.
Chen and Xu were sentenced to death in December 2010, while Wang, in a separate case, was sentenced to death in April 2011.
All three had appealed the verdicts, but the Zhangzhou court upheld the original sentences. Drug trafficking is a capital offense in China.
In 2009, Beijing and Taipei signed an agreement to cooperate on combating cross-Strait crimes.
By early 2012, police had jointly busted 10 drug rings operating across the Taiwan Strait and arrested 110 suspects, including 39 Taiwanese.
More than 1.4 tonnes of drugs had been seized, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Chinese Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu said today that 9.22 lakh Chinese people were sent for compulsory isolation for drug rehabilitation over the past four years.
Meng issued a report on China's drug control situation at a bimonthly legislative session.
Of the total number of people who underwent rehabilitation therapy, 6.41 lakh drug managed to kick the habit after three years treatment, he said.
The government has helped more than 40,000 drug addicts who recovered from the habit to return to society following rehabilitation through various programs, including employment assistance programs, Meng said.
Meng also released an official report stating that the 'Golden Triangle', which overlaps the mountains of Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand is still the most harmful source of drugs in China.
Chinese police seized 5.1 tonnes of heroin and 7.9 tonnes of methamphetamine produced in, and smuggled from, the region last year, which made up 72 per cent and 55 per cent of the total nationwide seizures of heroin and methamphetamine, respectively.
The seizures marked the increase of 55 per cent and 62 per cent year on year, according to the report.
Police also uncovered 223 drug smuggling cases originating in the Golden Crescent area, another major Asian region for illicit opium production, in 2011, up nearly 30 per cent, it said.
The Golden Crescent is located at the crossroads of Central, South and Western Asia, and includes Afghanistan, the world's largest opium producer, the report said.
It noted that the task of tackling drug trafficking has become increasingly arduous, as more cocaine from South America and methamphetamine from Northeast Asia have been smuggled into China.