Drug trafficking and commercial fraud rife at Vietnam – Laos border

By Dam Tuan   August 10, 2016 | 04:59 pm GMT+7

There has been a 100 percent increase in drug trafficking cases at the Lao Bao Border Gate.

The central province of Quang Tri that lies on the border between Vietnam and Laos is well known for drugs and weapons smuggling.

In the first six months of this year, the number of smuggling, commercial fraud, counterfeit goods and tax violations rose sharply compared to the same period last year, reported National Steering Committee 389.

The committee said that agencies busted 1,583 cases and seized goods worth VND24.4 billion ($1.1 million) in the first six months.

drug-trafficking-and-commercial-fraud-rife-at-vietnam-laos-border

Border forces beefed up patrols to control drug trafficking. Photo from bienphong.com.vn

The committee underlined that drug trafficking cases at the Lao Bao Border Gate had climbed by 100 percent compared to the same period last year.

Border officers in central Vietnam made multiple arrests of cross-national criminals for carrying heroin and marijuana across the border in the first six months. The latest case involved three Laotians who were transporting 4,000 ecstasy pills, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s newspaper.

At Lao Bao Border Gate, the most common scam is avoiding value added tax for products such as foreign milk and beer.

National Highway No. 9 and No. 1A have high rates of drugs trafficking and smuggling carried out by reckless criminals.

The committee has asked police, customs officials and border guard forces to increase patrols before the year-end.

Vietnam has some of the world’s strictest drug laws. Criminals 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 also punishable by death. Although the laws are strictly enforced with capital punishment handed down regularly, drug crimes remain a serious problem.

Police said transnational drug operations are complicated at the borders with Laos as well as China, and several drug busts have been made this year as drugs enter the country from the "Golden Triangle" - Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.

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