Heroin, ecstasy pill seizures soar in Vietnam

By Phuong Son, Bao Ngoc   June 8, 2018 | 07:54 am GMT+7
Heroin, ecstasy pill seizures soar in Vietnam
Vietnam's amount of confiscated heroin within the first five months has doubled year on year.

New drug trafficking route complicates the problem, says Public Security Ministry.

Authorities in Vietnam have arrested around 8,500 suspects in 13,000 drug trafficking cases this year, the Ministry of Public Security said Thursday.

It said police have confiscated approximately 880 kilograms of heroin, 500,000 ecstasy pills, 1.3 tons of cannabis and 2.5 tons of the chewing herb Khat (Catha edulis) in the first five months this year.

Compared to the same period last year, the amount of confiscated heroin has doubled and that of ecstasy pills increased by 30 percent, the ministry said.

Nguyen Dinh Nam, deputy director of the Ministry’s Anti-Drug Criminal Investigation Department, said the country’s drug trafficking problem was “complex,” as heroin used to be transported from Laos to Vietnam before being delivered to third-party states for consumption, and ecstasy pills used to be transported from China to Vietnam.

However, the ecstasy pills are now being delivered from the “Golden Triangle” – a lawless wedge of land that intersects China, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar and is the world's second-largest drug-producing region – to Vietnam before moving to another country.

Vietnam is a key trafficking hub for narcotics in and around the “Golden Triangle,” but it also has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamines 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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