After the rise in popularity of the crime drama Breaking Bad, news stories started popping up all over the internet, claiming that the real life Walter White had been caught. Multiple chemistry professors and teachers-turned-drug dealers caught the attention of Breaking Bad fans everywhere. And now, China can boast their very own Walter White.
According to the Japan Times, a university professor, who goes by the surname Zhang, has been arrested by Chinese police for selling millions of dollars worth of drugs. It was reported on Tuesday that this Chinese Breaking Bad parallel sold psychoactive substances over the internet to buyers in Britain, Canada, Australia, and the United States.
Apparently, Zhang got the idea to sell this kind of drug on an academic trip to Australia, where he learned about the incredible popularity of the mind-altering narcotic. He founded a chemical company in 2005 to produce “hundreds of kilograms” of a chemical called methylone, which is used in ecstasy. This story is remarkably similar to the beginning of Breaking Bad, wherein a brilliant chemistry teacher realizes how much money he could make by selling meth and using his scientific mind to run the business effectively. The protagonist of Breaking Bad also helped to found a large company before starting his drug empire.
No spoilers for Breaking Bad, but it can at least be said that things didn’t turn out so well for the Chinese Walter White. After selling millions of dollars worth of drugs in the United States, Zhang’s lab was raided by Chinese police. Eight of the people Zhang recruited for his drug operation were arrested, and 20kg of drugs were seized.
According to the New York Times, the Chinese Breaking Bad kingpin was caught as a result of customs agents finding white powder in packages being sent from a single mailing address last November.
Strangely, Zhang isn’t the first time China has had a real life Breaking Bad situation. Just this May, a chemistry teacher named Lu Yong was arrested for helping a gang leader sell methcathinone, which is a similar substance to the central drug in Breaking Bad, methamphetamine. Lu Yong was rendered blind in 2007 from a chemical explosion, but that didn’t stop him from going the way of Walter White.
What do you think about the Chinese Walter Whites? Do they resemble the Breaking Bad story, or are people just imagining similarities due to the show’s popularity?
[Image courtesy of AMC]