Chinese authorities have arrested more than 12,000 suspects and seized 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of illicit drugs in a nationwide crackdown on narcotics sold through online chat rooms.
The official Xinhua News Agency says police busted 144 drug rings involved in narcotics production and trafficking in a recent campaign. It did not say what drugs were being sold or had been seized.
Xinhua says police in the western cities of Lanzhou and Xi'an found that some people were selling and buying drugs through chat rooms that were not accessible to outsiders. It says newcomers could only join if they were introduced by existing users.
Xinhua said in Sunday's report that about two-thirds of the 12,000 suspects arrested were people under 35 years old.