Lao drug trafficking suspect killed in shootout with Vietnamese police

By Nguyen Hai   October 27, 2018 | 07:33 am PT
Lao drug trafficking suspect killed in shootout with Vietnamese police
AK rifles and grenades are seized by police from a Lao trafficking gang Friday. Photo courtesy of Nghe An Police
Vietnamese police shot and killed a Lao national Friday in a midnight shootout with drug traffickers in Nghe An Province.

The police said that in the early hours of Friday, a group of Lao men armed with rifles and grenades were smuggling drugs into Vietnam when local police spotted them.

In the ensuing confrontation, the police asked the gang members to put their weapons down and surrender, but the latter resisted by firing at the officers.

As the police fired back, a 30-year-old Lao man, identified only as Sua, was killed on the spot while two others escaped, a Vietnam News Agency report cited the police as saying.

The report said the police seized 990 grams of heroin, 12,000 synthetic drug pills, one AK rifle and three grenades.

Police are looking for the two people that escaped.

Vietnam is a key trafficking hub for narcotics in and around 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.

The drug trafficking and consumption problem has persisted and grown despite Vietnam having 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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