This week, yet another chemistry professor come Walter White tribute act, was convicted of producing and selling methamphetamine. Surnamed Zhang, the academic exported $600,000 worth of psychoactive drugs every month to the US and Europe. This is the first time one of China’s chemistry teachers has been caught supplying to the international market, maybe Gustavo Fring is a better pseudonym.
Zhang, along with two accomplices, was found guilty on Tuesday of selling 32 kg of illegal drugs, including MDMA-like methylone and the so-called “zombie drug” Flakka, which has been linked to a series of attacks in America, Time reported.
After majoring in chemistry at a top university in Wuhan, the 46-year-old went on to become an associate professor at the same university. While on a “research trip” in Australia, Zhang allegedly discovered that psychoactive drugs were heavily in demand but hard to come by. On his return to China he reportedly rented an 800-square meter production plant in Wuhan’s Jingxia District under the guise of medical coating and solvent production.
Managing his finances using Western Union and Bitcoin, the enterprising chemist, sent the narcotics via mail order, police said. Unfortunately for him, in November 2014, customs officers seized at least nine of the parcels containing methylone.
In June of last year, authorities raided Zhang’s lab where they found around 20 kg of drugs. Considering that police suspect he sold at least 193 kg of methylone in 2014, it seems he was pretty lucky.
— 微汇报 (@weihuibao) 19 May 2015
This is not the first time the hit AMC television series, Breaking Bad has influenced chemistry teachers in China. Last year a 50-year-old, former academic surnamed Lu, was prosecuted for producing and selling methcathinone. A raid in 2014 found Lu, along with six others in possession of 128 kg of the methamphetamine-like drug.
In that same year, an ambitious teacher in Guangxi quit his thankless job to make meth out of his 3-bedroom apartment in Nanning. 31.5 kg of methamphetamine and 185 kg of toxic chemicals used to produce the drug, were seized during a raid on his apartment.
There is nothing to suggest these cases are linked apart from the perpetrators obvious shared passion for American crime drama.
By Seamus Gibson
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