June 26th marked a very special day for China. Established as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking by the United Nations, the date has been traditionally honored as one that is set aside for both the conviction and execution of noted drug traffickers.
China means business and is steadfast in its resolve to combat the scourge of drugs and their deleterious effects on the health and welfare of society. In honor of this day, the state press claims that at least 20 people were executed, an equal number condemned to death and hundreds more put on trial.
Six convicted drug traffickers were executed in one day in Beijing and among those sentenced to death is a Nigerian man named Osonwa Okey Noberts, who was convicted of trafficking nearly six kilograms of heroin in a court in southern China’s Guangdong province.
More than 14,000 drug-related cases have been tried in courts across China between January and May, and the figures are up 12 percent from the same period last year. In total, nearly 6,400 people have been convicted of drug-related crimes and have received sentences ranging from five years in jail to death.
The police in China’s westernmost region, Xinjiang, have destroyed six tons of heroin, opium and hemp smuggled in from Afghanistan and Pakistan valued at 300 million yuan ($54 million US dollars)! They have been so efficient that now a new trend among drug traffickers is emerging; that of making drugs on the mainland instead of taking the risks of smuggling them in from the outside.
The incentive to find new and creative ways to smuggle and the promise of riches untold are always there as the “designer drugs,” such as Meth-Amphetamine, Ecstasy and Ketamine are very popular among the young and affluent Chinese, a segment of the population that views the use of these potentially lethal substances as “status symbols.”
“There is a growing trend toward making (illegal drugs) on the mainland instead of smuggling… from abroad. There are more cases of smuggling and trading of chemical raw materials for drug production,” says Zhang Jun, vice head of the Supreme People’s Court.
Will the Chinese drug traffickers adapt to this serious crack down in their environment like cockroaches do to every change in theirs, or will they be beaten so substantially that they will seek new territory to pillage and conquer?
And while not everyone can afford luxury rehab centers, their rich clients can, if only they actually want to seek treatment.
What do YOU think?