- Delivery man asked to take a pair of steamed buns between two cities 30 kilometres apart alerts police and helps uncover huge drug ring
- Online observers shower praise on the man and say his story could form the plot of a movie
A quick-thinking Chinese delivery driver has received a flood of online plaudits after he worked out an unusual drug concealment trick by a customer helping police break up a nationwide narcotics-dealing gang.
In July 2021, the unidentified driver took an order asking him to take two steamed stuffed buns between two cities – Xianyang and Xian – 30 kilometres apart in northwestern China’s Shaanxi province.
Finding the request strange, he took the tightly packed buns to the Xianyang police, who discovered a small plastic bag of drugs hidden inside each bun.
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The police traced his order and arrested two people, surnamed Zhao and Liu, for trading in heroin.
Drug dealer Zhao took officers to his rental apartment, where another six bags of heroin were discovered.
After Zhao confessed that his supplier was surnamed Ding, investigators linked the name to a previous drugs case in which an addict under supervision was caught buying heroin from a dealer, whose supplier was also Ding.
The two cases led to a 10-month-long investigation into a narcotics trafficking network operating across China, from Shaanxi province to China’s southwestern provinces of Sichuan, Chongqing and Yunnan.
The police eventually broke up a drug gang comprised of 113 people and seized 395 grams of heroin in June 2022.
The delivery worker has been hailed as the hero by many people online after Xianyang city’s narcotics control committee reported the case on February 13.
“I now believe in the almighty power of our delivery workers,” said one online observer.
Another thought the whole operation could form the plot of a crime drama.
China is undertaking an unremitting battle against drugs.
In the past five years, law enforcement has cracked 451,000 drug-related cases, arrested 588,000 suspects and seized 205 tons of drugs.
The authorities have also been providing drug rehabilitation services to the country’s 1.5 million drug users in a bid to reduce drug demand, according to a government report in September 2022.
Narcotics control committees across the country have also been posting case studies online to alert people to the problem.
Concealing drugs in steamed buns is by no means the weirdest attempt to smuggle narcotics.
In August 2020, police in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region solved a case in which juveniles were tricked into trafficking drugs hidden in the hollow sole of their slippers.
In 2021, Hong Kong customs arrested a man who attempted to smuggle cocaine by infusing candles with the drug.
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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
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