HONG KONG - Police in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have seized nearly three tonnes of the drug crystal methamphetamine and arrested 182 people in raids on a village notorious for producing narcotics.
With the help of helicopters and speed boats, authorities targeted Boshe village, which has supplied over a third of crystal meth nationwide in the past three years, the provincial public security department said in a statement late on Thursday.
More than 20% of households in Boshe, which is part of the southeastern city of Lufeng, are directly involved in or have a stake in drug production and trafficking rings, it added.
Local media reported that village officials were among those arrested in the dawn raid last Sunday, although the security department statement gave no such details.
More than 20 tonnes of raw materials for drug production were also seized, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Police check seized crystal meth at Boshe village, Lufeng, Guangdong province, December 29, 2013. According to Xinhua News Agency, Lufeng provided one-third of the crystal meth nationwide over the past three years. Police seized three tonnes of crystal meth and arrested 182 suspects for producing and trafficking drug during the action. Picture taken December 29, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer)
Police did not reveal the value of the seizure, although the South China Morning Post said the crystal meth, also known as ice, was worth an estimated HK$1.8 billion ($232 million) in Hong Kong.
Guangdong police have detained 10,836 suspects and seized 8.1 tonnes of drugs since launching the "Thunder Operations" campaign against drug crimes on July 30, according to Xinhua.
In China, methamphetamine is the second most popular drug after heroin.