Central Vietnam salt field yields a ton of crystal meth

By Ba Do, Nguyen Hai   April 17, 2019 | 05:08 am PT
Central Vietnam salt field yields a ton of crystal meth
Bags of suspected meth are collected from a salt field in Nghe An Province on Wednesday. Photo acquired by VnExpress
Police in Nghe An Province seized a ton of suspected crystal meth dumped near a salt field on Wednesday, acting on residents’ complaints.

Tran Quoc Tuan, chairman of Quynh Thuan Ward in Quynh Luu District, said some residents called the police Tuesday night, complaining that many bags of what they thought as industrial garbage were dumped on the edge of National Highway 48B near a salt field.

Police reached the place Wednesday and found about one ton of white crystals inside 23 bags.

The officers said they have arrested four suspects and are looking for the alleged ring leader, who is a foreigner.

An unnamed police officer from the Drug Crime Investigation Department under the Ministry of Public Security said Wednesday afternoon the suspected meth could be linked with Monday’s seizure of 600kg of meth. Police officers had searched a house in Vinh, the capital town of Nghe An Province, around 90 kilometers from Quynh Luu District, on Monday. Five suspects were arrested and 600 kilograms of meth seized.

The police officer said Monday’s arrest and seizure of drugs might have prompted other members of the drug ring to dump the one ton of drugs on the roadside.

The police have taken steps to identify what the white are and will announce the results in three to four days.

The large drug hauls come just weeks after two massive seizures last month in HCMC, one a 300 kilogram haul of heroin and the other, an equal amount of meth. The cases have prompted top police officers to warn that HCMC has become a transit point for drug trafficking thanks to its logistics infrastructure.

The repeated haul of huge amounts of drugs is 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 more than 2.5 kg of methamphetamine could 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.

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