Shanghai police and prosecutors target web-based drug sales and courier delivery.
Over 700 drug-related cases were detected and solved by Shanghai police last year.
To mark Sunday’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, local prosecutors released white papers to show the results of their crackdown on drug-related crimes over the past year.
New types of drugs are psychoactive substances (NPS) and cannabis-related drugs. They have been listed as restricted drugs by law in China since last year, which means their abuse and sale are against the law.
In a case prepared by prosecutors from the Xuhui District Procuratorate and the 1st Branch of the Shanghai Procuratorate last year, a man was sentenced to life imprisonment for trafficking two types of NPS since the abroad and selling them to others as a treatment for depressive disorders.
In addition, prosecutors in the Pudong New Area found that some foreigners colluded with Chinese citizens to smuggle drugs via international parcels. They tasked unsuspecting international students in Shanghai with delivering these packages into the country, containing hundreds of grams of heroin and cocaine.
Pudong and Jiading prosecutors also found that cannabis in e-cigarettes posed a new challenge.
According to the white paper report released by Jiading prosecutors, middle and high school students were found hovering over e-cigarettes in bars.
Additionally, some medical institutions have loopholes in their regulations for NPS drugs, which leads to importation.
The mode of selling drugs has shifted online through social platforms, such as WeChat, which is contactless and harder to detect.
From 2020 to 2021, the number of drug mail delivery cases accepted by Putuo district prosecutors accounted for 50% and 70.7% of the total number of drug-related crime cases, respectively.
And in Qingpu District, prosecutors found that staff members of a delivery company had been involved in drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
In a typical case, two delivery people were found participating in NPS drug abuse and trafficking. They were sentenced to three years and two months in prison by a local court.
In addition, young and old people were also found involved in drug trafficking last year in Qingpu. In their drug-related cases, a senior over 80 years old committed the crime of drug trafficking.
However, on the positive side, the total number of existing drug addicts, the number of newly discovered drug addicts and the relapse rate have decreased over the past year, according to statistics released by local police.