The China Coast Guard seized 1.12 metric tons of drugs as well as 1.2 tons of materials used for drug production last year amid efforts to further crack down on maritime drug trafficking.
In 2022, coast guard authorities across the country attached great importance to curbing drug smuggling and worked closely with public security authorities to collect information about drug-related crimes, Liu Dejun, deputy head for law enforcement of the China Coast Guard, said at a Friday news conference.
"Three major gangs producing and selling drugs were brought down, and 37 suspects were arrested," he said, adding that there was a slight increase in the amount of drugs seized last year compared with 2021.
Liu revealed that the coast guard has made all-out efforts to curb drug-trafficking activities at sea by carefully carrying out joint maritime and ground operations and developing a drug prevention and control system.
In addition, the coast guard also continued cracking down on human smuggling as gangs have increasingly explored sea routes to sneak people into China, given that many neighboring countries have strengthened their borders since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, the coast guard official said.
"Last year, coast guard authorities uncovered 45 cases of human smuggling and arrested 1,219 stowaways, leading to the successful dismantling of a number of maritime smuggling routes," said Liu.