Drug suspect throws grenade at police in northern Vietnam

By Hoang Viet   February 3, 2019 | 07:01 pm PT
Drug suspect throws grenade at police in northern Vietnam
Hoang Van Son is held at a police station for carrying two kilos of meth and attacking officers with grenade on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Cong An Nhan Dan newspaper
Police in the northern Son La Province have arrested a local man for allegedly smuggling methamphetamine and lobbing a grenade at them.

On Saturday night Hoang Van Son, 44, was driving a motorbike in Muong Sang Commune in Moc Chau District, around one hour to the north of Long Luong Commune, considered Vietnam’s most notorious drug den.

Police officers and border guards, who were in the area for an anti-drug operation, spotted him as a suspect and approached him. As they came near, he tried to flee and threw the grenade at them. Fortunately, the grenade did not explode.

The officers chased down and arrested the man and found him in possession of two kilograms of meth.

He is being held for questioning.

Long Luong, which is on the Laos border and four hours west of Hanoi, serves as a hideout for more than 60 wanted criminals, 30 for drug-related crimes.

Last June Nguyen Thanh Tuan, 34, and Nguyen Van Thuan, 35, leaders of major cartels that smuggled drugs from Laos to a third country via Vietnam, were shot and killed in a raid that involved more than 300 police officers.

Vietnam is a key trafficking hub for narcotics in and around the "Golden Triangle," a lawless wedge of land straddling China, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar that is the world's second largest drug producing region.

Drug trafficking and consumption have persisted and worsened in Vietnam though the country has some of the world’s toughest laws.

Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 gm of heroin or more than 2.5 kg of methamphetamine face the death penalty.

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