China's police say they began detaining people suspected of involvement in online drug sale in early September

Chinese police have arrested 12,125 people during a crackdown on online narcotics sales and confiscated more than 300kg of illegal drugs.

Xinhua state news agency reported on Sunday that police were tipped off to the scale of the problem after investigating chatrooms in the western cities of Lanzhou and Xian that were used to peddle drugs.

"Newcomers were only allowed to enter the chat room after being introduced by 'acquaintances' and taking drugs live via webcam," a police officer told Xinua.

Police began detaining suspects in early September, according to the report, and the youngest suspect was 14 years old.

Websites must "take responsibility in fighting such illegal activities" and new laws be drafted to cope with this new problem, the Xinhua report said.

Source: Agencies