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China executes 4 for drug trafficking

June 26, 2012 21:26 IST

China on Tuesday executed four drug smugglers and sentenced 15 others to death sentence as the United Nations observed International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

A total of 117 people in four provinces of China were sentenced for drug trafficking today, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Beijing said that 9.22 lakh Chinese were sent for 'compulsory isolation treatment' in the last four years for drug rehabilitation in the country.

Chen Tianlu, Xu Futai and Wang Zhenzong, all hailing from Taiwan, were executed in Zhangzhou in east China's Fujian province after being convicted of smuggling a popular  club drug across the Taiwan Strait.

Another man was executed by injection in northeast Jilin provinceon for trafficking about 4 kg of methamphetamine. The executions were carried out after the Supreme

People's Court approved their death sentences, officials with the Intermediate Court of Zhangzhou said.

The executions coincide with the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking being observed by United Nations.

Taiwanese men were convicted of smuggling hundreds of kilograms of ketamine, a drug popular in Taiwan's nightclubs, from Fujian to Taiwan by boat from 2009 to 2010.

They were arrested in Fujian during drug transactions. Chen and Xu were sentenced to death in December 2010, while Wang, in a separate case, was sentenced to death in April 2011.

All three had appealed the verdicts, but the Zhangzhou court upheld the original sentences. Drug trafficking is a capital offense in China.

In 2009, Beijing and Taipei signed an agreement to cooperate on combating cross-Strait crimes. By early 2012, police had jointly busted 10 drug rings operating across the Taiwan Strait and arrested 110 suspects, including 39 Taiwanese.

More than 1.4 tonnes of drugs had been seized, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Meng issued a report on China's drug control situ ation at a bimonthly legislative session.

Of the total number of people who underwent rehabilitation therapy, 6.41 lakh drug managed to kick the habit after three years treatment, he said. The government has helped more than 40,000 drug addicts who recovered from the habit to return to society following rehabilitation through various programs, including employment assistance programs, Meng said.

K J M Varma in Beijing