Foreigners arrested preparing to smuggle heroin in HCMC

By Quoc Thang   April 13, 2024 | 05:56 am PT
Foreigners arrested preparing to smuggle heroin in HCMC
Empty battery cases are intended to hide heroin inside. Photo courtesy of the police
Two foreigners were arrested in Ho Chi Minh City Saturday as they were allegedly preparing to transport heroin into Taiwan by hiding the drugs inside battery cases.

Another Vietnamese, who helped the unidentified foreigners rent a room in District 1, was also summoned by police for questioning.

Leading up to the arrest, police had been monitoring a group of foreigners behaving suspiciously and living in a rented room in downtown HCMC. Two of them had not begun procedures to obtain residency.

A search of their room revealed several suitcases containing 184 packets of heroin.

Devices such as grinders and several hollow metal tubes resembling batteries were found by police in the kitchen during the raid. Police suspected the drug was to be grinded into powder, before being hidden inside the tubes masquerading as batteries.

The foreigners said they entered Vietnam on March 15 through the land border in An Giang, investigators reported. The suspects then traveled to HCMC and lived in the room, waiting for the heroin to arrive, according to police.

Their alleged plan was to transport the heroin to Taiwan, investigators said.

The suspects then received suitcases of heroin from an unidentified person in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, according to police. They ordered several devices and empty battery husks from China via international shipping, investigators said.

Upon arrest, investigators’ suspicions were confirmed when the suspects said they planned to grind the heroin into powder and hide it in the battery cases to get past customs in Taiwan.

An investigation is ongoing.

In the first quarter alone, HCMC police busted 813 drug cases that included 2,019 suspects, twice more than the number of cases and suspects compared to the same period last year.

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