Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan is on his way to Beijing to help free his son, Jaycee, after he was arrested on drug charges. Beijing police say that they found more than 100 grams of marijuana at the younger Chan’s home.
The 32-year-old son of the actor and kung-fu star is one of the latest celebrities to be arrested as authorities in China clamp down on drug offenders. Jaycee, who is from Hong Kong, was reportedly detained along with 23-year old Taiwanese actor Ko Chen-tung, also known as Kai Ko, during the raid on Thursday in Beijing’s cultural and commercial district of Dongcheng, the South China Morning Post reported, citing reports by state media on Tuesday. Police said they acted on a tip-off from the public.
Police detained both men when they tested positive for marijuana and a search at Jaycee's apartment led them to another 100 grams of the drug. Chan also faces a more serious charge of “hosting others to take drugs,” which under Chinese law can lead to harsher punishment and a maximum prison sentence of three years. Two other people detained in the same case were accused of selling drugs, while Ko is accused of drug consumption.
China state TV reportedly showed footage of Jaycee, with his face blurred, showing police where the drugs were hidden in his home while Ko, whose face was also blurred, was shown tearfully apologizing.
“I feel very regretful, very sorry to all the people who support me... I’ve been a very bad example, I’ve made a very big mistake,” Ko reportedly said.
Jackie Chan was named anti-drug ambassador by China in 2009 while Ko was part of an anti-drug campaign two years ago. Ko rose to fame with his performance in the Taiwanese hit movie “You Are the Apple of My Eye.”
Illegal drug use in China, after being virtually wiped out by the 1949 Communist Revolution, has staged a strong comeback in recent decades as Chinese society has embraced Western lifestyles over the strict social control of the 1980s.
The two young stars are being seen as targets in Beijing’s latest anti-drugs campaign. Since the crackdown on drug use began in June, more than 7,800 people have been caught in Beijing alone, according to reports. Other high-profile drug arrests in recent months include the arrest of popular film star Zhang Mo and the sentencing of singer Li Daimo to nine months in jail for hosting a crystal meth party at home.
Dozens of management agencies representing Chinese entertainment industry performers have reportedly signed an agreement with Beijing authorities to ban drug use from the industry and pledged to fire artists who break the law.