June 4, 2011 / 7:34 AM / 9 years ago

China cracks ring smuggling drugs from N.Korea

BEIJING, June 4 (Reuters) - Police in northeast China detained 10 people and seized a haul of methamphetamines smuggled in to the country from North Korea, Chinese state media said on Saturday.

South Korea and the United States accuse North Korea of involvement in a wide range of illicit activities, including drug smuggling, to raise funds for a government under wide-ranging sanctions due to its nuclear programme.

The 10 suspects were caught in Dandong, which faces North Korea on the Yalu River, carrying 450 grams (1 lb) of methamphetamine, a stimulant known as “ice”, the official Xinhua news agency said in an English-language report.

The suspects are all Chinese citizens and were also carrying 150,000 yuan ($23,150) with them, Xinhua said.

Police are looking for two other people in connection with the haul.

While Xinhua did not say where the drugs came from, it pointed out that Dandong is on the North Korean border and that this was a “cross-border drug trafficking case”.

It provided no other details.

North Korea was subjected to more U.S. and South Korean sanctions last year for the sinking of the South’s Cheonan warship. The North denies it sank the vessel. ($1 = 6.479 yuan) (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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