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On Thursday, Beijing seemed willing to cooperate with U.S. authorities on an investigation into illegal drug shipments via the U.S. Postal Service from China to domestic drug dealers. Opioid manufacturers in China reportedly exploited the weak screening practices in the U.S. to introduce large quantities of illega; opioids into the U.S. market.
A spokesperson for the foreign ministry said that China is ready to boost coordination with the U.S. in that field. On Wednesday, the U.S. Congress had unveiled a year-long probe into the issue.
U.S. investigators found that Chinese sellers are delivering powerful opioids like fentanyl via the U.S. postal system to local drug dealers. The Chinese are exploiting the fact that the postal service lacks an electronic screening system that could help authorities detect illegal shipments.
USPS Screening Just One-Third of Chinese Shipments
Chinese drug manufacturers are also taking advantage of a surge in Chinese shipments to the United States due to a growth in e-commerce. U.S. authorities found that the U.S. Postal Service can electronically screen just one third of the total shipments coming from China.
This means that around 300 million packets per year are not properly screened. Congress found that the postal system has not improved its screening system in the last year despite the probe.
By contrast, the postal service claims that there has been a rise in the number of packages containing illegal drugs detected by the US Customs and Border Protection. A spokesperson for the service said the “serious societal problem” needs to be addressed and the Postal service is tirelessly working to fix it. The spokesperson explained that the electronic screening system cannot be fully implemented because there are some issues left that need to be negotiated with international partners first.
Image Source: Wikimedia