Heroin, pure and simple.
According to the Russian Embassy in Beijing, a Russian woman has been sentenced to death in China for drug smuggling, with her execution delayed for a period of two years.
The Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reports that 37-year-old Marina Lopatina of Khabarovsk (a city less than forty kilometers from China’s Heilongjiang province) was found guilty of attempting to smuggle two kilograms of heroin from Macao into Zhuhai in Guangdong province. Any attempt to smuggle over 50 grams of heroin into China is grounds for a death-sentence in the Chinese justice system.
The Zhuhai court’s decision, announced on November 23rd, brings the total number of Russian citizens on death row for drug-trafficking in China to seven.
China proved to the world in 2009 that they don’t play around when it comes to drug-trafficking, after Pakistani-born British citizen Akmal Shaikh was executed for bringing four kilos of heroin into China in a hidden compartment in his luggage in 2007. The case was highly controversial, as Shaikh reportedly suffered from mental illness.
And in April of last year, 4 Japanese men were executed for attempting to smuggle a combined total of 6.5 kilograms worth of methamphetamine out of China, and into Japan.
Meanwhile, apparently meth production and distribution by Chinese nationals isn’t nearly as serious an offense as attempting to smuggle meth out of China.
Shanghai Daily reports that a pair of Breaking Bad-wannabes in Jiangsu province were recently sentenced to 15 years behind bars for their illicit chemistry experiments:
Lishui County People’s Court found the two men surnamed Chen and Wang made 95 kilograms of methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, by extracting pseudoephedrine from cold medicine Contac NT in a rented apartment in June, the Yangtze Evening News reported yesterday.
Chen bought tools and more than 800 packs of the cold medicine while Wang was responsible for the manufacturing. They consumed a small part of the crystal meth they made and sold the rest to friends, splitting the profits, according to their confession to prosecutors.
In case you need help keeping score at home: 95 kilograms of crystal meth being manufactured and sold will get you 15 years in prison if you’re a Chinese citizen, and 6.5 kilograms of meth being smuggled out of China will get you the death penalty if you’re a non-Chinese citizen.
Not that we’d ever run a multinational drug-smuggling operation or anything, but if we were going to get drugs into China, then we would run all our shipments through Hong Kong, obviously. A recent massive cocaine bust in the city saw the seizure of 567 kilograms of product, with a local street value of $77 million USD.
However, none of the eight arrested individuals involved in the scheme will have to worry about receiving the death penalty, since capital punishment was formally abolished in 1993, while Hong Kong was still under British rule.
So the thing to do would be to run our operation in Hong Kong, and hire local Hong Kong citizens to smuggle the product across the border into Guangdong. If your Hong Kong-based operation ever unravels, then at least you wouldn’t have to worry about getting the firing squad, which was the method of execution used for Akmal Shaikh in 2009.
And if your local mules get caught at the border, the political fallout from the mainland attempting to execute a Hong Kong citizen would stink to high heaven like you wouldn’t believe.
For the record: Shanghaiist does not endorse or support the trafficking, production or selling of illegal substances in any form! And yes, that includes moonshine.