812 drug suspects held in joint Mekong patrolling

Beijing, May 21 (IANS) A total of 812 drug crime suspects have been arrested as part of a joint anti-drug campaign launched by China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand on the trans-boundary river of Mekong, Xinhua reported.

Drug trafficking has long plagued transportation on the Mekong river, which runs through the opium-producing Golden Triangle Region.

Launched around mid-April, the ongoing two-month drive also included seizure of 1.93 tonnes of drugs and a batch of firearms and ammunition, said Lan Weihong, a Chinese official for the mission’s headquarters, in Yunnan province Monday.

The suspects are from China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, the official added.

Several drug rings preying in the region are believed to have ceased operation in the wake of the crackdown. The murder of 13 Chinese sailors by a gang in the waters of Thailand in 2011 had renewed concerns over the safety of the busy trading route.

The four nations — China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand — have conducted regular patrols on the river since a joint statement Oct 31, 2011 vowed to take actions to crack down on cross-border crime and secure transportation along the waterway.

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