Border Patrol With China’s Toughest Drug Squad

Border Patrol With China’s Toughest Drug Squad

“Attention! Dress Right!”It’s morning meeting
for the drug squad at Qing Long Chang. “Eyes front! Sit down!”Here Lieutenant Li Liuhua
runs a 24-hour station where 70 officers rotate on three shifts. This is the front line in
China’s war on drugs flowing in from neighbouring Myanmar and we’ve been given rare access to
see their operation. “This path is the major one for drugs coming in. But they will probably
take the neighbouring roads”. The squad operates a checkpoint near the border to filter drug
traffic. Lieutenant Li shows how the main routes from Myanmar converge on that position
yet how more recently, the smart drug runners have been getting around them via more isolated
paths. Last year these officers played their part in the interception of 9 tons of Burmese ice
coming into the country. They’re taking on some major business interests. “Drug crime
is high-profit, serious crime. Driven by profit and defending their interests, criminal syndicates
will take desperate risks – it’s a struggle of life and death”. Yunnan is a place that
dreams are made of. With its lush forests, mountains, rivers and remote ethnic groups,
it’s the China of paintings and poems right there in front of you. Yet there’s a side
to this province not spoken of in the tourist brochures. It’s the staging post for a major
narcotics trade flowing in to meet Chinese demand and lucrative markets beyond. We’re
on our way to the thin line between the drug runners and the rest of the world. “Well we’re
driving through what has to be one of the most beautiful parts of China and searching
for drugs. We’re here with the Yunnan Provincial Drug Squad. Mr Xue, he’s showing us around
and I’ll just have a bit of a word to him. “Mr Xue do you think that recently it’s been harder
or easier for you to apprehend people smuggling drugs?””There have been a lot of cases and
it’s not easy”.”Not easy? Why?””With drugs coming in from overseas, it’s impossible to
stop them all. There are a lot of paths. Our police forces don’t have enough manpower – we
just don’t have enough people”. The Chinese police are patrolling a four thousand kilometre
border region here and they know they’re battling to keep it under control. We arrive at Qing
Long Chang to speak to them about the monumental task they’ve been given of trying to hold
back the tide. This has become a very busy unit indeed and we’re about to see why.Here
Lieutenant Li Liuhua tells us that they can go for weeks without a bust, yet sometimes
will catch multiple drug runners in quick succession. China may be known for its media
control but he says we can film whatever happens while we’re here. And straight away they’re
into it. No nook or cranny is beyond suspicion. No bag of vegetables to be left unstabbed.
No delivery too urgent to be delayed and no family enterprise is beyond being questioned. “How often do you transport goods?” “If business is good, probably once a day. If not, probably
every three or five days”. “We feel this is getting more and more severe. There are more
and more drugs being processed both inside and outside of China. There is more and more
demand so of course there will be more and more smuggled drugs. So this really is becoming
a serious problem”. A black Audi pulls up and it draws immediate attention. One officer
is responsible for picking suspicious vehicles and this one has been identified as such.
It’s not the type of car so much as who’s driving it. Girls in frilly dresses move through
pretty quickly. Young men in groups are prime suspects. They also don’t mind letting the
police know what an inconvenience it is. This is not going to go smoothly. The police say
drug-related criminal cases in China were up by 20% last year. According to their records,
this involved 133,000 arrests. Critics of China’s legal system would question not only
the voracity of these statistics but the procedural fairness of police work here. Yet a substantial
increase in Chinese drug crime is also corroborated by international sources. “You wait here! You
wait here!””I’m going to get some water”.”We’re checking now, why don’t you cooperate?” “Ok.
Ok. After you check our vehicle, can we go then?””We check you in accordance with the
law and you don’t run around. You should just rest here. Sit down”.The water finally comes
and tempers cool a little but the search of their car uncovers a secret compartment under
the boot. It’s rammed with cartons of cigarettes. These will all have to be checked. It also
means their car is now up for a thorough examination. In the meantime a long distance bus has arrived
from the border and again it’s the young men who are asked to get off first to be scrutinised.
Bags are searched and questions asked. In many parts of the world, even elsewhere in
China, it’d be seen as rather excessive for police to drag passengers off a bus and frisk
them in this way simply because they’re travelling in a certain direction. But in Yunnan’s drug
belt, it’s becoming standard procedure. One young man comes off the bus and he’s not like
the others. He appears edgy, even as small items are taken out of his pocket – and as
he’s frisked from head to toe. This man is scared. He joins the line of fellow passengers
who’ve been chosen for a scan in the x-ray truck. He looks around and won’t meet the
direct gaze of anyone, least of all our camera. After all the others have been checked, it’s
his turn. “One, two, three pieces”. It seems they’ve spotted something on the x-ray. “Here
is a bag. All together there are three bags. It looks like ice. Yeah, it’s pretty obvious.
He’s inserted three bags at once”.What they’ve found inside this man are three packets of
methamphetamine, known on the streets as ice. “There is nothing in his stomach. They are
around his anus. Get out of the van!”This travelling man is now in serious trouble and
he’s having the situation spelt out to him pretty plainly. “Now, you shouldn’t lie to
me. We can see from the X-ray machine, you’re carrying them inside your arse. You should
be honest with us – we’ll give you this chance, okay? You tell us right now. We have already
seen it from the equipment, you can’t run away. You don’t need to be nervous, tell me
the truth, okay?” His fellow travellers are still not back on the bus and within earshot
of the conversation. “The reason they’ve put this tape around him is because you know if
the drugs come out they don’t want them to fall out of the bottom of his jeans there.
“Once you brought the drugs across, how were they going to contact you? How were they going
to contact you?”I don’t know”.”You don’t know? Let me tell you – stop telling lies to me.
You should cooperate with us immediately to reduce the punishment. After all, you’ve only
transported these drugs for other people – they don’t belong to you”. The young man slowly
begins to realise that his fate has been sealed and starts to open up, telling him that he made this
run for the equivalent of five hundred dollars. “For such a small amount of money,
you carried them? This is a crime. Drug trafficking is a crime. To transport drugs is a crime
– do you know that? Do you know that?”I didn’t know they were drugs”.”What?””I didn’t know
they were drugs”.”You didn’t know they were drugs? So why did you insert them inside you?
Why? “The police have been asking him how much did you pay for the drugs… what time
did you insert them… what’s your final destination… who are the people … obviously they’re trying
to do a bit of a deal with him, saying if you give up the people who’ve gotten you to
bring these drugs up here then we’ll be more lenient on you”. “I needed to be in Kunming
first”.”Right so you needed to be in Kunming and they would contact you from here. All
right – handcuff him”. Most of the drug mules they’re catching are hardly big time criminals
and the police know it. “For these people they are very poor. The economy in their areas
is not good. More importantly, they are poorly educated. They don’t know about the law. They’re
just pawns of the criminal groups”. With nightfall a new shift marches into place. The checking,
searching and questioning rolls on relentlessly. But as thorough and as persistent as they
are, they’ll never get it all. “The drugs they’re carrying are where? Mostly. Inside
their bodies? Inside cars? Where?””Most of them are hidden in the “sandwich layers” of
cars. For example, this part, you could have a “sandwich layer”. You can only see it from
underneath. In big trucks, they could be hidden in goods and in “sandwich layers”. Not as
much inside human bodies. You can stuff it in, but not much quantity”. Commissioner Jiang
Mingdong has been a drug squad police officer in Yunnan for 30 years. He’s proud of how
many drugs they’ve seized during his career. “The amount is huge – more than 200 tons! Can you imagine if we’d let those 200 tons float inland or into the international community how much
damage it could’ve caused?” Police here stage mass burns of confiscated drugs. It’s a public
relations exercise to send a message that they’re not a light touch. Many hundreds of
thousands of dollars worth of drugs go up in flames but the syndicates know it’s nothing,
compared to the profits to be made if they can transport these goods to lands far away,
to places like Australia. Just take the AFP’s figures for this year’s intercepts coming
into Australia from China. January, Perth, methamphetamine 35 kilograms. June, Sydney,
methamphetamine, 57 kilograms, street value $42 million. May, Sydney liquid methamphetamine,
72 litres. February, Sydney pure methamphetamine, 13 kilograms. February, Sydney, methamphetamine,
585 kilograms, street value $438 million.This This last case was the largest ice seizure ever
seen in Australia. “There’s Chinese organised crime working in Australia but equally they’re
working with Australian nationals, organised criminals”.Commander Ray Johnson worked out
of the Australian Federal Police Beijing station for three years. “I think it’s fair to say
that the drug problem in China is growing. Yes, China is a source country for the supply
of an amount of drugs to Australia”.Chinese drugs are being smuggled into Australia in
garden hoses, bags of cleaning chemicals, ceramic tiles and shampoo bottles. For methamphetamine
precursor chemicals coming into Australia the major source is now China. For ecstasy
precursor chemicals coming into Australia the major source by quantity is China. We
know this because Chinese and Australian police are conducting joint operations. At times
they deliberately let the drugs go through in order to catch everyone involved. “We might
discover the export from China and in cooperation with our Chinse partners we could substitute
with an inert substance and allow the export to become an import into Australia and then
for the while investigate the syndicate that surrounds that import”. When a series of container
ships arrived at Port Botany two years ago, it marked the beginning of a major China-Australia
campaign to stem the flow of drugs between the two countries. Hidden in these shipments
were more than 2,800 litres of the precursor chemical safrole oil, enough to make millions
of ecstasy tablets and according to the AFP with a street value of around $500 million.
In what was known as Operation Hitch, the materials were seized, arrests made and police
say it led to the dismantling of an alleged transnational drug importation syndicate.”That
operation resulted in the arrest of three people in Australia and it ultimately led
to the arrest of twenty three people in China and the seizure of a further 500 litres”. Now
we’re told barely a week goes by when criminal intelligence is not being shared between China
and Australia, allowing Chinese police to make arrests as well. Our drug squad has even
written a song trumpeting the team’s success. “The green mountains accompany me. The stars love
us. Day and night we persist and uphold our work lines on the national roads. Though the
vehicles stream like a river, we will not let any ferocious drug criminals get through.
No matter how cunning those drug traffickers are and how they try to cover themselves our
penetrating eyes can see through them”. Qinglong Chang Drug Squad believes it has heroin basically
under control, at least it’s stable, but methamphetamine is another matter. In 2005 around 8% of drug
busts in China involved ice. Now they’re nudging 40%. It’s an exploding market and it’s where
these police are concentrating much of their energy “Loyal to the people! Dedicated to
our duties! Loyal to the people! Dedicated to our duties!” On board the long-distance
sleeping buses the checking is going ahead in full swing. Bags are searched and documents
examined with plenty of questions. A tap on the shoulder from a colleague… they’ve found
something. “Where are you going?””To Kunming”.”What are you going to do there?””My boss asks me
to go there”. This woman is asked to produce her ID but doesn’t have one. She’s a Burmese
citizen. A woman travelling with a small child clearly doesn’t fit the profile of those the
police have been homing in on. And yet she is carrying methamphetamine.”You
can see here somebody else has been caught
carrying drugs. They’ve come in from Burma and they’re hiding the drugs inside some sort
of… again it looks like a condom or something like that, they’ve been hiding them underneath
the mattress of this bus. The police are now asking them where they got this from and just
the details of where they intended to take them”. “Whose child is this?””He’s mine”.”How
old?””One to two years”.”Do you have any more?””Nothing else”. The woman and child are taken off the
bus. She’ll be questioned, but either way normally in China, any run in with the law
means you’re going down. “Can we have a look?”She shows us the three packets of ice she was
attempting to deliver to the regional capital. This seems to be the standard amount that
poor couriers are asked to take. “We’re actually going to try and ask her a couple of questions
to get translated through the local police here”. “Can you ask her why she did it? Is
it because of money, or why? Did somebody make her do it?”Money, money”. “Five thousand,
did you get it in the hand?””Not yet. When I deliver it there, I get paid”.”So a friend
has gotten her to do this. Obviously they’re poor people and someone’s given them 5,000
yuan to bring these drugs across the border”. That’s around 900 Australian dollars. “I’m just trying
to establish if lots of people from their village actually bring drugs across the border.
It seems they do”.”Has she done this before?”So she’s done this before herself. So she’s successfully
brought drugs across the border before and this is the second time she’s done it.The
police say that pregnant women or women with small children are favoured to act as drug
couriers. It’s not only because they look less suspicious. This woman tells the police
that she is still breastfeeding her child. Under the Chinse system that means she won’t
be sent to gaol – at least for the moment. We’re later told that she’s to be sent back
to Myanmar until her child is of a certain age, then apparently the Burmese police will
hand her back over to China to face trial here. As for our young men pulled over earlier
by the police, they were also carrying a sword and a large knife in their car but no drugs. “Our duty is to check for the drugs but you’re carrying controlled knives. It’s not necessary
to arrest you – you haven’t hurt anyone. We’re just confiscating them”.”They were given by
my friends as gifts”. “We can’t return them to you. Those are the controlled knives”.”If
you’re really not giving them back we will go then”. And with that, they’re allowed to
go. Yet this man’s life has come to a devastating cross roads before our eyes. He is looking
at a minimum of 10 to 15 years in gaol. As China’s drug trade flourishes, there are many
like him running the gauntlet here, poor people taking the quick money so others can reap
the profits – and try though the police might to plug the holes, in their hearts they know
that the tide is well and truly coming in.


  1. Why are slavs stealing western music westernn european white culture and western white eurpean uk clothes dress sense technology and secrets. i hate slavs

  2. There should be a bounty on fentanyl dealers in America. It would be gone in a year or two. I think it's worth a try…

  3. Asians love drugs too? Now I have something to scrutinize prejudice Asians. Whites, Asians and Latins love drugs. Drugs are bad mmmm ok.

  4. They have heroin under control??? Hahahahahaa yeah but 90% of the worlds heroin comes from Afghanistan hahhaaa

  5. So the most gangster looking shithead gets away but the ignorant woman that obviously doesn't know whats going on has to face trial and the poor bastard with shit up his ass get 10 to 15 years?! Hahaha PATHETIC

  6. The thing to remember is that China knows all about what can happen if a drug takes hold of a country.

    The opium war and the subsequent opium addiction that scarred Chinese society for a century, (until the 1949 communist civil war victory), weakened the Chinese government and erroded the sovereign integrity of the nation and cost millions of people the chance to lead a healthy and prosperous life.

    So if anyone wonders why the Chinese authorities take such a hardline on drug dealers and manufacturers and smugglers, they only have to read about the Opium Wars to understand why.

  7. Feel sad for the Burmese woman. At least Chinese law allows her to breastfeed her child. Much better than Donald trump dividing mother and child seeking better life. Not carrying drugs

  8. Yet tons of cheaply made Chinese fentanyl with no oversight in terms of manufacturing or any type of consistent dosage amounts so you don't really know how much your true dose is and it comes flooding into my country and causes damage to my fellow country men, women and children. It should only be used in extreme conditions with constant monitoring and made in my country where we have stringent and proper control of the manufacturing of the medication for my fellow citizens and not have it outsourced to another country. Especially a country like China when it comes to medication. I have never taken fentanyl but for a lot in my country it has become a problem and we don't need anymore junk coming in.

  9. I would assume China recalls the destruction of their nation by the British/Jew Opium War which the Zionists have never paid for all their crimes against China and humanity.

  10. If "girls in frilly dresses" are given a pass, and only the young males are searched….wouldn't it make sense for the frilly dress girls to be the mules?

  11. Quite insightful. Seems from the woman's case the Chinese are more civilized than Americans! Continue the good work.

  12. They have heroin under control. Ha ha ha ha ha sounds too me everyone's turned too meth instead. U can take away the drugs but not the problem

  13. they could have at least blurred the face of the man that go caught. Ruined his life for sure. All for some footage.

  14. 25.59 so happy they didnt take that child of her….i was like no dont tell them u done it twice before….thank god she wont have to amswer her so called crime

  15. To take ppl off the bus to search them even happens here in little norway and sweden, or to check all on the train is also normal

  16. China should learn to give light sentences to ppl who are beeing used and abused to do the trafficking cause they will end up like usa if they give long sentences to all ppl like this, they should rather use resources to get the kingpins cause harder to make kingpins if they dont got the networks

  17. In the meantime the west is being flooded with Chinese made fentanyl! The American and Canadian governments were complaining to the Chinese to do something , the Chinese replyed they are not aware of any problems of Chinese fentanyl….

  18. 運咁多毒係死刑,個女人都唔識驚仲笑,應該係無知又個咁細既仔,點樣判罰 (*_*)?

  19. 11:54
    in china drug offenses are a HUGE crime he will be executed 99.9% chance of that also because he is poor he wont have legal representation to find loopholes. His fate is sealed poor guy 🙁

  20. Fairness! Lmao this is communist China you dumb fucks. You know the communist country that we owe trillions to.

  21. Meth is important to China. Without it, they cannot work 24/7 on their manufacture and shipment to the west of fentanyl.

  22. Drugs are bad….real bad! I know but I had to find out on my own. 17 months clean and sober after a lifetime of abuse. I just can't explain it , I just did it!

  23. Chinese do everything right. Love that country! Just watched a docu about the homeless / drugproblem in Seattle. It's awful there. Chinese do everything right.

  24. Sorry, I think these faces of the polices should not be shown in social media. These drug dealers will kill their families, which happened in China many times.

  25. idiots, take him behind somewhere most likely there in bus is more drug lords spies or relatives
    -if him speak in front of all these witness most likely all family will get killed
    when him agreed to do crime him already don't really care about self,
    but some people are really desperate in life with huge problems
    like need medicine for mother wife or kids and they agree do something like this
    -when you cut plant -still remain roots
    and that war never ends

  26. Fucking pigs, it’s they don’t even hit the tip of the iceberg, most of the people that get caught have been sold out to the police so their main shipments get through. It’s a corrupt world and I hate how the journalist gets involved and has a condescending attitude toward obviously very poor people,fucking wanker. See the cop bouncing the kid up and down to see if anything falls out, most likely wants the kids pocket money….prick

  27. 10 – 15 years for carrying a taboo substance in your arse? This video did an excellent job of showing a modern inquisition carried out by state robots who are forced to sing ridiculous songs.

  28. Those mass burns break my heart… As a journalist, I would like to get a helicopter to film it straight from above the fires..

  29. Good for China for not arresting this Myrannmar Mother.. This mercy would never happen in USA… No One should be imprisoned for selling drugs to adults, only if they sell or are negligent in keeping it out of the hands of children. Sell the drugs to the super rich legally and use that money to help people with addictions

  30. What age is not ok to grab boobs? I don't think he's doing anything wrong but I'm talking about USA law?

  31. Where are the dogs? Drug sniffer dogs cannot be bribed to look the other way and are the most efficient and effective drug busters.
    More dogs please.

  32. All cops in the world are chasing drugs, what ever happened to chasing Murderers and Thieves etc. What is this worldwide view of needing drug use and sales and manufacture to be a crime?
    Jesus of Nazareth is The LORD

  33. Take it from me, an American, that drug wars are basically unwinnable. Our jails are bursting at the seams with nonviolent offenders who will remain incarcerated due to our draconian mandatory minimum sentences. We have made many innovations to control the flow of illicit substances, and also to the laws that govern them. I have noticed among Asian nations that the idea of completely eliminating illegal drugs seems to be the end state, and that is a dangerous fallacy. Controlling the influx and punishing the right people should be the ultimate goal as total elimination is impossible.


  35. 15:40 by a quick calculation, meth is 750k a kilo in Australia? HAHAHA ya the drug dealers wish I'm sure. HAHA I just did more math and that's 670$ a gram. Where do they get these numbers


  37. they mad because they want you to buy their drugs not the drugs somebody else is bringing in. China making a big $$$ of fentanyl, acent-fentanyl , carfentanyl, and other less than heroin drugs. At the end of the day God made the best in Heroin, mad cannot come close. Anyway remember the government says marijuana is the same as heroin. I bet you believe them. Drug war nothing but a jobs program. Now eye straight and sit down. Good boy.

  38. ops, had that comment below wrong, sorry being a fake american, this about crystal meth. I hate that drug. Give that to your kids, they got a.d.d. and abc123. Yes, sir. Big Pharma says ten out of ten children have adhd. USA loves speed. But China and Aisa they love it too. Big money in that market. Better though, after all alcohol does kill and alcohol people so violent. how many wives have a black eye today from drunken hubby?

  39. that black audi was a sucker car. They got the drugs through, just had to sacrifice this one, but they knew. We drug users smart, we have to be. Some get caught but overall you are loosing the drug war.

    when-ever that X-Ray van is not there you know it safe to bring the drugs in. You know that a-ray vehicle ain't there everyday. idk, why they do this, the human condition that we all suffer from, idk about you but i love to feel good but not weighed down like the depressant called alcohol. Plus i don't like to get violent and beat on people such as alcohol drinkers do. And they drive.Why you care what i do when alcohol people are out driving. Every 50 minutes somebody in the USA is killed by alcohol driver thence they create another marijuana task force. Bizarre.

  40. Hold on, Chinese never look people in the eye. I think it their custom, idk, but don't be saying that makes hima drug runner or he is afraid because he is not "meeting the camera's gaze", please, that is their custom/culture round eye!!!!

  41. now folks ratting on people does not help you. See here. Never tell on your friends. And remember telling on a bad cop will get you killed. Police don't like people who tell on the police. Never tell on your friends. Sad that USA is of:don't go to the pen, tell on a friend. That ain't the way. Do your time and make your bones. Crime does payO(M.I.T. did a study and concluded it did pay). I sold marijuana to pay for my college degree. it worked and i made lots of people happy with a good and regulated product at a fair price. NYC marijuana still illegal, boy are they behind the times, yeah NYC behind the times for sure.

  42. yep, been a drug officer for 30 years and i am proud of all the drugs i have seized even though it has not made one bit of differnce except put people in jail, ruin them, and leave no choice but for them to resume running drugs just to survive. 30 years and what the diff, guess he glad to collecting and easy pay-check. I'm sure he's taking a bribe here and there. He has to know he is not making any difference. Just like USA after over a trillion dollars for drug war and the drugs are still here. They DEA did well on heroin but we replaced it with Fentanyl which is far worse, but i guess we want death as evidenced by alcohol.

  43. how do we know drugs are in those packages being burned. that's too much money to burn up. they should burn them, keep the price high.

  44. idk, they say they catch tons of the stuff but i wonder how good it is. one time is usa they caught a ton of coke but it was like 6% pure. What does that mean? 6% is garbage. 94% is not coke, so what happened. Did USA DEA take some and add cut to it and say propaganda to look good. Drug are big $$$$ and it's just a few who are against drugs. Mainly the people that drink alcohol are against drugs being the hypocrites they are.

  45. see that, he said "insert a inert substance", like they ain't going to check if the drugs are real. Lots of money on the line, i'm gonna check before i accept delivery cause if you rip me off i'm going to return for my money. Even when i buy crack i tell them to show me the package. if it is bright white i know it is half cut. Piss yellow is the best color for crack with ether bubble gum smell.

  46. The Thai and Laos borders with China having gaping holes in security. The VietNamese / Chinese border is as tight as a drum (these countries hate each other).
    One popular route is Thailand – Cambodia – Laos – China, either way, for high value drugs. China is a massive source for drug chemicals.
    Thanks to these bums, drug sniffing dogs are found at every international local border gateway. Cruise ships and freighters are searched by dogs in VietNam, and, of course, aircraft and airports.
    VietNam has the death penalty for any drugs except the smallest amounts.

  47. Cruise missiles right up the drug cartels ass's and you start winning the so called war on drugs… sink their boats and subs and leave the runners for the sharks and they will start to get the message no more just go to prison… you're going to die.

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