Border guards in central Vietnam arrested two Lao men for smuggling nearly 23 kilograms of heroin across the border on Saturday.
The men, 32 and 41, were caught driving a motorbike across the border at 9 p.m. on Saturday and refused to stop for a check.
Vietnamese border guards chased after them and seized the drugs, along with a large amount of cash.
The Laotians said they were paid VND40 million ($1,800) to carry the drug from Laos to Vietnam.
Thanh Hoa authorities said it was the biggest drug bust ever made in the province and they have opened an investigation to track down more members of the gang.
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. Several drug raids are reported at the Vietnam-Laos border every month.