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Fentanyl smugglers: Nine jailed in landmark US-China operation

Fentanyl smugglers: Nine jailed in landmark US-China operation

Nine people have been jailed in China for smuggling fentanyl into the US, after a landmark joint investigation by American and Chinese officers.

In August, US President Donald Trump said China was not doing enough to stop the opioid – 50 times more potent than heroin – being shipped to the US.

The Chinese court said it was the first time US and Chinese officers had worked together on such a case.

Mr Trump has claimed fentanyl kills “100,000 Americans a year”.

According to US authorities, the figure is likely to be lower. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in 2017 – the most recent full data available – that synthetic opioids, other than methadone, were linked to 28,000 deaths.

Results of the joint operation were announced by Chinese and US authorities in China’s northern city of Xingtai.

One person was given a suspended death sentence, which normally means life in prison, and two others were given life sentences. The six others received lesser sentences, ranging from six months to 10 years in prison.