A total of 168 suspects allegedly involved in drug trafficking were captured in a crackdown launched by the local police in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province Tuesday.
Most people detained by the police during the campaign are foreigners originally from West African countries, said a late Tuesday statement by the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau, adding most of those are from Nigeria and Mali.
A huge batch of drugs, suspected to be heroin and methamphetamines, was confiscated during the crackdown, which 1,300 police officers carried out. The bust took place at Lihua Hotel in Yuexiu district.
A large sum of money made from the drug trade and several imitation guns were also seized. Initial investigations show that some imitation guns belong to Chinese suspects.
Some foreigners in Yuexiu, who have expired visas, have ventured into the drug trafficking business. The hotel’s Chinese owner was also taken away for interrogation.
The city’s public security bureau said the case is under investigation and declined to give further details when reached by the Global Times on Wednesday.
The Guangzhou Daily reported that police should investigate the identities of the 168 detainees and whether the case is related to international drug trafficking gangs.
The drug bust attracted large crowds of onlookers and caused traffic congestion. The Yuexiu District Public Security Bureau asked residents and cars to not disrupt the raid on its official Sina Weibo account.
An unnamed official from the Beijing Anti-smuggling Department under Beijing Customs told the Global Times that most foreigners gather in Guangzhou due to its convenient coastal location, adding that most drug business there is operated by people with African ancestry.
“Most of those foreign drug dealers caught in China will be repatriated after years of imprisonment,” added the official.