New regulation expected to help cut off supplies Beijing will move to curb the production and trade in precursor chemicals for illicit drugs in a bid to stop the flow of the ingredients into the Golden Triangle. Yang Fengrui , deputy secretary-general of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, said a new regulation to tighten control of the production, sale and purchase of the chemicals was expected to cut off supplies. 'The amount of precursor chemicals smuggled into the Golden Triangle area is startling ... and the smuggling of the chemicals used to make Ice [or methamphetamine] to Southeast Asia has become a new tendency,' Mr Yang said yesterday. Some of the illicit drugs produced have flowed back to China and exacerbated drug problems. The regulation will take effect next month and cover all 23 types of precursor chemicals listed by the UN as ingredients in narcotic and psychotropic drugs. Among them are chloroform, acetic anhydride and hydrochloric acid. Mr Yang said the massive 'people's war' against drugs had curbed drug-related crimes. He said that in the first nine months of the year, authorities arrested more than 49,000 people on drug-related crimes and seized nearly 7,000kg of heroin, 4,500kg of Ice, 879,000 Ecstasy pills and 1,600kg of ketamine. Mr Yang said the average price of traditional and recreational drugs and drug-making chemicals had increased sharply across the country. For example, the price of heroin in Yunnan province had jumped by 31.5 per cent, while acetic anhydride - a key ingredient of heroin - rose from 70,000 yuan per tonne to 120,000 yuan. After a recent seizure of 1,100kg of ketamine, prices in Guangdong, the planned destination for the drug, had surged 30 per cent compared with the start of the year, he said. According to Mr Yang, Yunnan province, which borders the drug-producing Golden Triangle area - comprising Laos, Myanmar and northern Thailand - remained the worst-affected area on the mainland by drug trafficking. Among the 107 tonnes of precursor chemicals seized on the mainland in the first half of this year, 22 tonnes were from Yunnan, accounting for one fifth of the total.