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China: International effort results in 2,500 drug arrests

  |   July 2, 2013 at 1:43 PM
BEIJING, July 2 (UPI) -- More than 2,500 people were arrested during an international investigation of drug trafficking along the Mekong River, Chinese officials said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Public Security said police in China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand seized almost 10 tons of drugs during the two-month campaign, Xinhua, the official government news agency, reported. They also seized 38 weapons, 1,125 rounds of ammunition and $3.6 million and made 2,534 arrests.

Chinese officials say 60 to 70 percent of the illegal drugs in the country come from the Golden Triangle, an area formed by the Mekong and Ruak rivers that includes parts of Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The area was formerly the world's major opium producer, although it has recently been outpaced by Afghanistan.

The Mekong, which flows from the Tibetan Plateau in China to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam is one of Southeast Asia's major trade routes for both legal and illegal goods.

Officials say the drug traffickers used the elderly and disabled along with pregnant women as mules.

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