A drug lord known as the ‘godfather of crystal meth’ was sentenced to death yesterday.
Cai Dongjia, 55, is the former chief of Boshe village in Guangdong Province.
He used his political power to make crystal meth, also known as methamphetamine, and provide protection to local drug dealers, according to Xinhua News Agency.
During Dongjia’s six-year tenure, Boshe grew to be China’s infamous ‘village of drugs’ and produced a third of the country’s crystal meth supply at one point.
Boshe village is small. It occupies 133 acres and is less than a third of the size of London’s Hyde Park.
However the village had as many as 77 drug factories, all backed by corrupt Dongjia, who was the Communist Party secretary and chief of Boshe.
All of Boshe’s residents share the same ancestors and are surnamed Cai, making it more convenient for them to form a close-knit drug ring.
It is said that hundreds of Boshe residents – from children to pensioners – participated in producing, selling and transporting crystal meth from their homes.
These illegal factories were guarded by AK47-wielding residents, some as young as 18, who were extremely hostile towards outsiders, according to a report on China Central Television Station.
The notorious village was bust on December 29, 2013, after Guangdong police deployed 3,000 armed officers, speedboats and helicopters in a raid – the largest drug bust China has seen so far.
According to Guangdong police, Dongjia and 181 other suspects were caught during the raid, and officers confiscated nearly three tonnes of crystal meth, 260 kilograms of ketamine and 23 tonnes of raw material used to make drugs.
Police also shut down a factory which produced dynamite.
Dongjia was sentenced to death by Foshan Intermediate Court in first instance in 2016, together with two accomplices.
All of the three later appealed against the decision to a higher court.
Yesterday, the Guangdong High People’s Court dismissed their appeals and kept the original ruling.
The high court said Cai Dongjia and his accomplices, Cai Guangchuang and Cai Zhaogui, had been making crystal meth in Boshe since 2011.
Dongjia and Guangchuang produced 180 kilograms of crystal meth with the help of other people; while Zhaogui ganged up with the others to produce 150 kilograms of crystal meth before selling them, the court said.
After Guangchuang and Zhaogui were arrested, Dongjia also tried to bribe the police in order to save the two, the court added.
Dongjia was found guilty of making and trading drugs as well as harbouring criminals. He was given a death sentence as a final judgement from the high court.
Guangchuang and Zhaogui were each given a suspended death sentence with two years probation for making and trading drugs.
The decisions are pending approval from China’s Supreme People’s Court.