Talk about some A1 yola. Xinhua, China’s largest state-run news agency, reports that on December 29th, police in the small Chinese town of Boshe in the southern province of Guangdong raided 77 drug production sites and arrested 182 suspects for the drug that they call “ice,” better known as crystal meth. Over 3,000 police used helicopters, motorboats and police dogs to infiltrate the drug ring, and they extracted villagers, guns, knives, and even a homemade bomb. Three members of police were injured in the raids and three tons of meth were retrieved.
Boshe, located within the city of Lufeng, apparently produced more than one-third of China’s total meth supply over the past three years. A UN report from November 23rd of last year also found that the use of amphetamines in China is rising: the number of amphetamine users has “continuously increased” over the past three years, and the total amount of meth seized from China grew 12 percent from 2011 to 2012.
The Southern Metropolis Daily reports that Boshe, a tiny town of about 14,000 residents on less than one square mile, had previously defeated attempts by authorities to raid their camps by using human barricades like elderly women and children to resist police. The state-run paper China Daily even reports that corruption played a major role, as Boshe officials got a cut of the action in return for protecting the drug producers. Locals also told Local Daily about how meth production had polluted the area so badly that lychee fruit, for which the village was once known, can’t even grow there anymore.
Guangdong officials say this is just the beginning, however. The raid is the latest in “Operation Thunder,” which started last July as an attempt to combat drug trafficking. Over 10,000 people have been arrested so far, as security official Guo Shaobo says that this is just, “the tip of the iceberg.” – Max Weinstein