Tonnes of confiscated narcotics are torched and five people executed to mark global day against illicit use and trafficking The mainland yesterday marked International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking by announcing at least five executions of traffickers and torching tonnes of confiscated drugs at mass rallies. High-profile trials were held across the country and drug convicts were paraded before national television to highlight the authorities' determination to crack down on trafficking. Yang Fengrui , deputy secretary-general of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, was quoted by the China News Service as saying the problem of drug use was still prevalent and the mainland's drug troubles were 'very critical' as a result of the rising international narcotics trade. The latest number of drug addicts on the mainland topped at least 1 million, compared with 780,000 at the end of last year, Mr Yang also said. Heroin remained the most popular drug for addicts and about 70 per cent of them were below 35, according to a previous report issued by the commission. Mr Yang said China's leaders were highly concerned about illegal drugs and that they had pledged to fight the drug war. He was speaking at an anti-drug forum for young people in Hubei . International human rights organisations have criticised China for holding mass trials and executions on anti-drug days. Long Zhenhai, who was sentenced to death for drug trafficking by the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court, was escorted by public security officers to the execution field shortly after the public announcement of his verdict yesterday. The Supreme People's Court yesterday said it had approved death sentences for five other people convicted of illegal drug trading, with four of them executed. The remaining case was given a two-year reprieve, the court said. CCTV yesterday even broadcast live the sentencing of a drug trafficker in Beijing. Lu Chunming, 37, was sentenced to death by the Beijing Intermediate People's Court for selling heroin. 'Lu told national television that drugs had ruined him and [he] had ruined his family,' China News Service reported. It was the first time that the full trial of a drug trafficker had been broadcast live on national television. The Golden Triangle - Myanmar, Thailand and Laos - has been a main source of opium and heroin via Yunnan. Afghanistan is another source, the report says. Domestically, the manufacturing of methamphetamine, ketamine and other illegal drugs, as well as opium growing, is still rampant because of the huge returns. The commission also said dealers in Hong Kong had acted as organisers and financial supporters for their mainland counterparts. Last year, 58,000 people were arrested for narcotics smuggling on the mainland with 17.4 tonnes of drugs seized.