Two women have been arrested in northern Vietnam for smuggling nearly 45 kilograms (99 lbs) of methamphetamine, the biggest ever haul of the drug seized by authorities, a senior police official said Wednesday.
According to Dang Van Sinh, the director of Nam Dinh Province's police department, Nguyen Thi Quyen, 46, and Dao Thi Lan, 38, both from the northern province of Ninh Binh, were caught in the nearby province of Nam Dinh on January 23. They were also carrying more than 10 kilograms of heroin.
The methamphetamine and heroin had been smuggled from Laos through a border gate in Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Kon Tum.
The smugglers often divide the drugs into small bags and transport them via motorcycles, according to Sinh.
Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine face the death penalty.
The production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is also punishable by death.
Although the laws are strictly enforced with capital punishment handed down regularly, drug running continues in border areas.