Drug-related crimes rising in China

June 22nd, 2011 - 4:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, June 22 (IANS) China is witnessing drug-related crimes turning commonplace on the mainland with a rising number of addicts resorting to robbery and other violent crimes for obtaining drugs, China Daily reported Wednesday.

Courts nationwide heard 59,234 drug-related cases during 2010, a year-on-year increase of almost 15 percent and convicted 66,298 people of such crimes, said Sun Jungong, spokesman of the Supreme People’s Court at a briefing.

Among them, 29 percent received sentences ranging from five years to death, Sun said.

During first five months of 2011, China’s courts heard 25,986 cases involving drugs and convicted 24,815 criminals.

“When they are in need of money, some drug addicts become reckless and commit crimes, including robbery and theft, so that they can get the money they need for drugs,” he said.

Statistics from the top court also show that new types of drugs - mostly methamphetamine and ketamine - now have an increasing presence on the mainland.

Among drugs seized across the country in 2010, 46 percent were the new types of drugs, a rise of 6.5 percent from 2009.

Among drugs seized during the past five months, the proportion of new drugs almost reached half of the total haul and they were more plentiful than heroin for the first time.

The emergence of new drugs, especially synthetic drugs, has posed new challenges for the nation’s law enforcement officers, its public health resources and social stability, said Sun.

The top court will speed up work on establishing criteria for imposing penalties in cases involving new drugs, Sun added.

Gao Guijun, a judge from the Supreme People’s Court, said drug users often hallucinate and, in their altered state, become violent or cause traffic accidents at times.

Gao also pointed out that more juveniles have been taking drugs and getting involved in drug-related crime in recent years.

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