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The Chinese Heroin TradeCross-Border Drug Trafficking in Southeast Asia and Beyond$
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Ko-lin Chin and Sheldon X. Zhang

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479895403

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479895403.001.0001

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The Retail Heroin Market in China

The Retail Heroin Market in China

(p.135) 6 The Retail Heroin Market in China
The Chinese Heroin Trade

Ko-lin Chin

NYU Press

This chapter examines the social organization of street-level heroin distribution in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. The focus is on Kunming not only because it is the heroin capital of China, but also because the research project was conducted with the participation of researchers from a police college located there. Based on in-depth interviews with 39 heroin retailers in Kunming, the chapter explores the individual characteristics of street-level heroin dealers, the reasons for their engagement in heroin retail, and the modus operandi of street-level heroin distribution in Kunming. It also discusses maima (literally “selling horses” or snitching)—the most prevalent method used by drug enforcers to go after heroin retailers, and what these retailers usually do to protect themselves from being arrested by the authorities.

Keywords:   drug traffickers, drug trade, drug trafficking, heroin distribution, Kunming, Yunnan Province, heroin sales, social organization, heroin retailers

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