BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese prosecutors have approved last month’s arrest of Jaycee Chan, son of kung fu movie star Jackie Chan, after a suspected drugs offence, the state-owned Beijing News reported on Wednesday, meaning he can now be formally charged.
The younger Chan, a 32-year-old actor and singer, was arrested in Beijing after testing positive for marijuana and police said they found 100 grams of the drug at his home.
President Xi Jinping said in June that China would “harshly crack down” on narcotics, state media reported.
Action and comedy star Jackie Chan, 60, served as a goodwill spokesman for the China National Anti-Drug Committee in 2009, state media reported, promoting anti-drug education.
China has detained a string of other mostly B-list celebrities in recent months on drug-related charges, cases that have been publicized widely in both state and social media. They have included movie and television stars, film directors and a prominent screenwriter.
Drug-related crimes carry harsh penalties in China including death or life imprisonment in serious cases.
A lawyer told the Beijing News the younger Chan, if found guilty, could be jailed for about three years.
Illegal drugs, especially synthetic substances like methamphetamine, ketamine and ecstasy, have grown in popularity in China in tandem with the rise of a new urban class with greater disposable income.
A commentary published Wednesday in the Global Times, a popular tabloid published by the official People’s Daily, said celebrities should not expect leniency from the government or the public after sex or drug scandals.
“Western celebrities like Kobe Bryant and Hugh Grant were embraced by fans again after they were hit by scandals, causing an illusion among Chinese entertainers that they could be as lucky as Bryant and Grant,” the commentary said. “However, Chinese entertainment figures are subjected to higher standards of morality than their Western counterparts.”
Film director Wang Quan’an was detained on Monday on suspicion he solicited prostitutes.
Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Nick Macfie