Trans-national drug ring busted in northern Vietnam, 30kg of meth seized

By Bao Ngoc, Phuong Son   July 14, 2017 | 11:15 am GMT+7

The drugs were bought in Laos for around $660,000 before being trafficked into Vietnam.

Police in the northern province of Lai Chau busted a trans-national drug trafficking ring and nabbed two ring members on Monday.

Sung A Thai, 21, a Laos national, and Ho A Chua, a 28-year-old Vietnamese man, were arrested in possession of about 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of methamphetamine.

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Police found around 300,000 methamphetamine pills. Photo by VnExpress/Bao Ngoc.

Police were tipped off about a drug trafficking ring last month, and were able to home in on the culprits after a week-long investigation.

The ring was operated by a group of ethnic minority people and Lao nationals, and transported drugs by coach between the northern provinces of Dien Bien and Lao Cai.

Police intercepted one of the coaches while it was passing through Lai Chau Province on Monday evening.

A search of the coach uncovered 300,000 methamphetamine pills weighing about 30 kilograms in packages belonging to Giang Dua Nenh, 21. However, Nenh was found to have no knowledge of the drugs and had just been asked to keep an eye on the packages by an acquaintance, according to VietnamPlus.

Undercover officers remained on the coach posing as normal passengers until it reached Lao Cai, where they arrested Thai and Chua while they were trying to retrieve the drugs.

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Packages seized from the coach. Photo by VnExpress/Bao Ngoc.

At the station, Thai and Chua claimed they were hired by a Lao group to transport drugs from Dien Bien to Lao Cai for a fee of VND160 million ($7,040) for every successful trip.

Thai also claimed the drugs were bought in Laos for VND50,000 per pill, placing their total value at VND15 billion ($660,000), according to Phap Luat (Law) newspaper.

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 punishable by death in Vietnam.