A three-month crackdown on drug dealers has resulted in the arrest of 30 suspected drug dealers, including 10 foreigners, some claiming to be students or refugees, according to reports this morning in Chinese media and The Global Times.

Police sources say the dealers were selling marijuana, methamphetamines and MDMA, mostly in Sanlitun and also in Dongba, an area outside the fifth ring several kilometers northeast of Chaoyang Park.

In one series of raids detailed in Chinese here, reporters accompanying the police on busts held between May 22 to May 25 tell of addicts being used as lures, as well as foreigners being busted in taxis in front of Sanlitun hotels, in front of nearby subway exits and on the grounds of the Taikoo Li mall. Some of the arrested involved high-speed, on-foot chases through the late-night streets of the capital city's nightlife epicenter.

Users are being targeted too, with Chinese reports saying nine drug buyers were among those arrested.

The dealers will face the same penalties as local citizens, the report notes. China's drug laws are notoriously strict, and dealing over 50 grams of methamphetamines can earn a suspect the death penalty.

The bust comes as welcome news to the vast majority of foreign residents of the city who choose to live within the letter of the law. Foreign drug dealers who seem to operate with abandon in certain areas of Sanlitun have been both an embarrassment and a downright hassle to foreign residents, whom the dealers often strike up friendly conversations with as an intro to offering drugs for sale.

Beijing police are seeking tips from citizens witnessing drug dealing. Tips can be sent via WeChat to “北京禁毒”; via Weibo at @平安北京 or by calling the police hotline at 110.

Photo: CFP via Global Times

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