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Gov't to launch nationwide drug crackdown

TAIPEI -- The Ministry of Justice is to launch a six-month nationwide drug crackdown targeting dealers to improve social order, an official said yesterday in Tainan, southern Taiwan.

Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu made particular note of the issue of drug abuse on school campuses at a forum attended by investigators and representatives of local communities.

The dealers usually provide free drugs to teenagers at first and later demand payment for the substances once the youths have become addicted.

In order to pay for their habits, many young males turn to stealing, while the girls drift into prostitution and are controlled by organized crime gangs, Tseng said.

“The dealers who take advantage of such young people are unforgivable, but arrested students will be sent to rehabilitation centers,” he said.

Tseng made the remarks in response to a report in the United Daily News that police a day earlier arrested a group of eight people who were feeding teenagers illegal substances and then forcing them into prostitution or making them sell drugs.

Police found almost 60 students from 10 elementary and high schools who had been recruited by the group and seized over 200 kg of amphetamine and heroin.

According to a survey conducted by the Crime Research Center of National Chung Cheng University, a record high of over 3,000 kg of illegal drugs were seized in 2010. Authorities have increasingly found amphetamine, which has become popular among young people.

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