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China Drugs Raid Nets Huge Crystal Meth Haul
Helicopters, speedboats and armed police descended on a Chinese village in a massive drugs raid which seized three tonnes of crystal meth.
Security forces and thousands of police officers surrounded the village of Boshe in the south of the country on Sunday, a location notorious for producing drugs.
A total of 182 suspects alleged to be working for 18 drug rings were arrested, according to a statement from police in Guangdong province carried by Xinhua news agency.
Officials believe more than a fifth of households in the village are involved in trafficking or production, running a "clan-based, industrialised operation with local protection".
The statement said: "The offenders have for a long time been brazenly committing crimes, avoiding investigations and even ganging up to violently oppose law enforcement."
The raid was part of Operation Thunder, a crackdown in the province that was launched last summer. So far 11,000 suspects have been detained and eight tonnes of drugs seized.
The coastal city of Lufeng, close to Boshe, is the source of a third of China's crystal meth supply.
Villagers have put up fierce resistance to the authorities' attempts to curtail drug production in the past.
Homemade grenades and AK-47s have been used against officers, and villagers have put nail boards on roads and hurled rocks in an attempt to stop them getting in.
According to local newspaper The Yangcheng Evening News the first person to be captured in the raid was the village's party secretary, who was allegedly protecting the operation from the authorities. Others detained included the local police chief and police officers.
Crystal meth is the second most popular drug in China after heroin, according to a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
It is estimated that sales of the two drugs in the country and South East Asia totalled more than $30bn (£18bn) in 2012.
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