1.6 tons of drugs seized in 2021: Vietnam customs

By Phan Anh   December 23, 2021 | 06:21 pm PT
1.6 tons of drugs seized in 2021: Vietnam customs
A man is arrested in Nghe An Province for trafficking around 227.5 kg of drugs, April 3, 2021. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Border Guard
Vietnam's customs authorities seized over 1.6 tons of narcotics over the previous 12 months and arrested 222 people in related cases.

From December 16, 2020 to November 30, 2021, customs officers have cooperated with other authorities to seize over 113 kg of heroin, 763 kg of cannabis, over 504 kg of ecstasy pills and over 300 kg of ketamine apart from other narcotic substances, the Tieng Chuong newspaper reported, citing data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

The criminals have used many different methods to hide and transport drugs across the nation's borders, including hiding them within electric motors, frozen pig stomachs and candies, the report said.

Last year, over 3.1 tons of narcotics were seized by border guards. Criminals took advantage of the fact that authorities were busy dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic to transport drugs through the border, a Hai Quan Online report noted.

Vietnam has emerged as a key trafficking hub for narcotics from the Golden Triangle, an intersection of China, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar which is the world's second largest drug producing area after the Golden Crescent in South Asia.

The repeated seizure of huge amounts of narcotics has been happening despite Vietnam having some of the world's toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or cocaine or over 2.5 kg of methamphetamine can face capital punishment. Production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of any other illegal substance is also punishable by death.

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