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Major drug bust nets former Party chief

Updated: 2014-01-02 21:33
By ZHENG CAIXIONG ( chinadaily.com.cn)

Police detained 182 suspects, including a former local Party chief and village head, as part of a special operation in Lufeng, Guangdong province, on Sunday that broke up 18 major drug gangs.

"All the suspects are domestic people," said Guo Shaobo, deputy director-general of Guangdong Provincial Department of Public Security.

Addressing a press conference in Guangzhou, the provincial capital, on Thursday, Guo said police seized 2,925 kilograms of methamphetamine, commonly known as "ice", along with 260 kg of ketamine powder (a narcotic) and more than 23 metric tons of raw materials for producing drugs.

The sweep targeted 77 secret drug-production sites.

"More than one-third of the country's total methamphetamine over the past three years came from Lufeng," Guo said.

Three police officers were seriously injured during the operation, which began at 4 am on Dec 29.

Two officers were shot, and one suffered a broken leg after being knocked down by a car driven by the drug traffickers.

"All three police officers are now in good condition and are receiving treatment at a hospital in Guangzhou," Guo said.

The operation engaged more than 3,000 officers, two helicopters, four motorboats and many police dogs.

To ensure a successful crackdown in Lufeng, all the police officers involved in the operation came from outside the area. Authorities wanted to avoid "protective umbrellas" — a reference to possible interference by local authorities who support the drug operations — Guo said.

Police also seized nine guns, 62 rounds of ammunition, a homemade bomb and many State-prohibited knives.

The operation has dealt a "heavy blow" to local drug operations, Guo said, citing a decline in trafficking and related crimes in the eastern part of Guangdong as more gangs are being broken and their members arrested.

Cai Dongjia, regarded by police as the biggest drug trafficker in Shanwei, was detained in Huizhou when the operation was launched.

Cai had been Party chief and head of Boshe village in Lufeng and a deputy of Shanwei People's Congress. He was removed from those positions.

More than 20 percent of the families in his village (population about 14,000) have been investigated in connection with drug production and trafficking.

Cai's deputy, Cai Hanwu, was detained in the village during the raid, and 350 kg of methamphetamine was seized in his home, according to the police. He was deputy Party chief and deputy head of Boshe village.