By Jiawei Liu
On April 6, 39 drug addicts conducted a dramatic mass ‘prison break’ from a detention and treatment centre in Zhenxiong country, Yunnan province, local officials confirmed this week.
The Global Times reports:
Of the 39 who escaped the detention center, 12 have returned after being persuaded to give themselves up or were intercepted by officials, said the local government, adding that they are still searching for the remaining detainees.
The case was first exposed just hours after the prison break in a post on tianya.cn, a popular online forum, by a 60-year-old local resident who told the Global Times Monday that his source was a police insider.
Zhao Zexuan wrote in his post that three guards failed to notice the detainees flee during their morning exercise period.
Zhao’s post surmised that the detainees would not have been able to escape if any of the three layers of security doors had been locked. His conclusion aroused heated discussion online with some netizens ridiculing the guards and the detention center. One netizen said sarcastically that before the center hires new guards it should ensure they know how to lock a door.
The guards on duty at the time of the escape have been suspended, according to local authorities.
Zhao deleted his forum post on the request of local police. “They called and asked me to cooperate and support their work,” said Zhao.
Drug abuse is common in Yunnan province, and Kunming, provincial capital and largest city has been called the ‘HIV capital of China‘.
Heroin pours into Yunnan daily from Vietnam, Burma, and Laos. In 2012, over 130,000 people were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking and related offences.