16 foreigners at English First detained on drug charges

WeChat Official Account: ExpatRights

English language schools in China are now bracing for checks after police in the Jiangsu city of Xuzhou cracked a narcotics case which resulted in a number of foreign teachers and students being detained.

According to a statement issued by local authorities on Tuesday, a total of 19 people tested positive for drug use including 16 foreigners. Seven of them are employees at EF English First (EF) branches in Xuzhou while nine others are EF students.

Though 18 of those arrested were placed in administrative detention for a maximum of 15 days, the remaining individual was put under criminal detention which could indicate a formal charge is forthcoming.

It’s not clear what types of drug or drugs is involved in this case.

On Weibo, EF has issued an apology, vowing to conduct an internal investigation of its own and sack any teachers found to be using drugs, promising also to ensure that its foreign staff complies with Chinese laws and regulations.

English First is a subsidiary of EF Education First, the world’s largest private education organization. EF first entered China in 1996, focusing primarily on English language training courses. It now has outlets in more than 50 cities across the country.

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