Several arrested after major Vietnam heroin, marijuana busts
VIETNAM police seized two large caches of heroin and marijuana in separate drug busts over the weekend, with several people arrested on suspicion of smuggling the narcotics in from neighbouring Laos, official reports said yesterday.
Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws, but it shares a porous border with Laos and illegal goods from drugs to wildlife products are often smuggled through.
Police confiscated 112 kilograms (250 pounds) of heroin in the northern Phu Tho province on November 26 and arrested four people after discovering the drugs in large plastic water jugs.
“The heroin must have originated from Laos or elsewhere. Further investigation on the case will be carried out,” said a report on the province’s official website.
Suspect Vang A Cang, 42, told police the heroin was his and said he hired the three other men as drivers and guards for US$17,500.
In a separate case, police in central Ha Tinh province arrested two Laotian men on November 26 for smuggling 60kg of marijuana into Vietnam, according to the official police newspaper.
Vietnam hands out heavy punishments for drug-related offences. Anyone found guilty of possessing more than 600 grams (20 ounces) of heroin, or more than 20kg of opium, can face the death penalty.
Vietnam has sentenced dozens of foreigners to death for drug offences, but it has been decades since a foreign national was executed in the country.