First half drug busts up nearly 10 percent

By Dang Khoa   June 20, 2020 | 01:04 am PT
First half drug busts up nearly 10 percent
A pile of methamphetamine crystals with a glass meth pipe in background. Photo by Shutterstock/Aaron M. Farrar.
Vietnam has seen a 9.46 percent year-on-year increase in the number of recorded drug busts in the first six months, the Ministry of Public Security says.

The ministry’s Drug Crime Investigation Department has detected 11,215 offenses, arrested 15,775 people, seized 235 kg of heroin, nearly 1.6 tons of ecstasy and 850,000 ecstasy pills, and 113 kg of marijuana in the first six months of 2020, officials said at a meeting this week, according to a government portal report.

Compared to the same period in 2019, the quantity of seized drugs has decreased, the report said, but did not mention specific numbers.

The drugs are mainly brought in from foreign countries for distribution in Vietnam or transportation to a third country via land, sea or air, the department said.

It also said that drug trafficking has increased sharply of late at the Vietnam-Laos border.

At the Vietnam-China border, meanwhile, heroin remains the most trafficked and traded drug, with Vietnam acting as a transit point for drugs trafficked to China.

Police said people were buying and selling banned substances online. The most common trick used in such deals was to put drugs in confectionery items.

The amount of illegal drugs seized in 2019 was the highest ever at nearly nine tons.

Many reports have said that Vietnam has become a key trafficking hub for drugs from the Golden Triangle, an intersection of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar and the world's second largest drug producing area after the Golden Crescent in Afghanistan.

This is happening despite Vietnam having some of the world’s toughest laws against the production and trafficking of illegal drugs. Production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of any other illegal substance is punishable by death.

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