133,000 busted as China steps up war on drugs

A policeman stands guard as a officials prepare to destroy illegal drugs at a factory in Guiyang, Guizhou Province in 2013.

Story highlights

  • Police arrest 133,000 people and seize 43.3 tons of narcotics in a six-month period
  • China launches a new online campaign to crack down on online drug crimes
  • Celebrities have been embroiled in the nation's intensifying anti-drug campaign

(CNN)Chinese police have arrested more than 133,000 people and seized 43.3 tons of illegal narcotics during a six-month anti-drug campaign, the country's Ministry of Public Security has announced.

Authorities also handled 115,000 drug-related crimes -- such as robbery -- and 606,000 cases of drug use during the nationwide campaign to "ban drugs in hundreds of cities," Liu Yuejin, Assistant Minister of Public Security, said Wednesday.
    The figures were nearly double the same period a year earlier, while the amount of narcotics seized was up by 44.9%, according to the ministry.
    Liu said drug trafficking groups have "suffered a heavy blow" and drug users have been "forcefully regulated."
    However, the police also paid a price, Liu said, in quotes carried by the state-run Xinhua news agency. Nine police officers died and another 657 were wounded in the mission, with 76 severely wounded. The ministry rewarded 60 units and 100 people.
    Liu said China's drug-related problems were still severe, with online drug trafficking an increasing problem.
    He said the ministry had launched a three-month online campaign starting in April targeting people engaged in drug-related Internet crimes.

    High-profile arrests

    Over the past nine months, a string of movie and television stars, film directors and pop singers have been arrested and charged over drug related incidents, including Jaycee Chan, son of kung fu movie star Jackie Chan, who was convicted on a drug charge and sentenced to six months in prison by a Beijing court.
    In August last year, dozens of management agencies representing actors and singers signed an agreement with Beijing authorities banning drug use from the entertainment industry and pledging to sack any artists who broke the law.