China steps up on crackdown on drugs: Celebrities under scrutiny

Photo Credit: bbc.co.uk, taken by AFP

The Chinese government increases its forces on its war against illegal drugs. The campaign has recently turned high-profile catching several celebrities, including the son of international Kung Fu movie star from Hong Kong, Jackie Chan, Jaycee. For the past months, it has arrested B-list celebrities both in the film and television industry, as well as directors, producers, and screenwriters. The government is not stopping, and it intends to go even wider and deeper.

The 32-year-old singer and actor, Jaycee, was arrested earlier this week in Beijing. According to police reports, he tested positive for marijuana. Furthermore, the police found 100 grams of the drug at his home.

Ko Chen-tung, 23-year-old Taiwan actor, was also arrested after he also tested positive for marijuana.

According to the state-supported paper, Global Times, the two movie stars were arrested in an area in central Beijing that was pinpointed by their source. The source, as they say, is a resident in the area.

Meanwhile, M’Stone International Corp., which is Jackie Chan’s management company, released an official statement earlier this week saying that they are with him through this ordeal. Ironically, the 60-year-old movie star served as a goodwill spokesman for the China National Anti-Drug Committee in 2009. He was passionate about the advocacy and promoted anti-drug education.

Earlier in August, Dos Kolegas, a bar popular among locals and foreigners alike, experienced an on the spot drug test which resulted to several arrests. The bar is located in Beijing inside  a drive-in movie theater.

42 entertainment management firms also promised the local Beijing police forces last week that they would not work with celebrities who are confirmed users of drugs. This was formalized in a signed deal, according to the report of state-owned Beijing News.

Over the recent years, the use of synthetic drugs has increased parallel to the rise of a new urban class. These drugs include methamphetamine, ketamine and ecstasy.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the government would “harshly crack down” on narcotics abuse. Xi has various campaigns running, but all programs are under his promise to fight graft and corruption especially in the upper class social circles. This seems to be at fault for the massive discontent among its people, with a huge gap between the nation’s poor and wealthy.

There are harsh penalties against convicted drug-related crimes in China. These penalties include death or life imprisonment, depending on how serious the case is. Just last week, two South Koreans who were convicted of smuggling methamphetamines were executed.

Currently, over 7,500 suspects who are detained in China are drug-related. This number is a 72-percent increase from 2013.

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