[Updated 6.15pm] A source from Modernista says that four Americans (one white, one African American, two Chinese American, to be specific) and four Chinese were taken in and tested by police for not having their IDs or acquiring household registrations upon arriving in China. The 30 or so policemen also conducted checks on the staff with the whole event lasting for about one hour.
A source present at Mado during the incident who requested to remain anonymous said that there had been rumors circulating for months among bars in the area that something like this was going to happen.
The same source described the unnerving scene whereby more than a dozen police entered the bar without warning and ordered people not to leave while they checked IDs.
Afterwards, the police detained four or five foreigners and escorted them out of the bar to perform urine tests. Approximately 30 minutes later, all of those detained were released and returned back to the bar. It is unclear why those that were taken were selected to do so, and whether it was simply because they weren’t carrying any ID.
The source added that after checking documentation, the police asked a couple of simple questions such as how long they had been in Beijing and how long they had held a Z visa. Witnesses said that after the initial surprise of the police arriving unexpectedly, the officers conducted their work cordially.
Mado and Modernista are both located a stone’s throw from each other on Baochao Hutong.
Another witness present at Mado during the operation said that 30 to 40 police were seen on Baochao Hutong and that the majority of the customers that were given drug tests appeared to be of African descent.
One theory is that the raids were coordinated to take place around the UN’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which this year fell on Sunday, June 26, as they have in the past (see here and here).
Some sound advice to stay safe is to always carry your ID – including your housing registration – with you at all times, or at least a high-res hardcopy or a scan on your phone. But as we know, the only true way to evade possible imprisonment and deportation is simply to steer clear of drugs entirely.
More stories by this author here.
Photo: Global Times
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