Meth menace: people high on drugs disrupt Saigon airport

By Vu Doan, Minh Nga    July 6, 2019 | 04:35 am PT
Meth menace: people high on drugs disrupt Saigon airport
Screenshot from a video captures a man (in blue) high on drugs disrupting Tan Son Nhat International Airport on February 10, 2019.
The Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC has been disturbed by people high on drugs five times in the last six months.

One man threatened the airport’s guards with a lighter shaped like a gun while another demanded that the airport stop all flights or else all aircraft will be "pulled into the sun."

There's a passenger who passed all security screening and only showed signs of being high on drugs upon boarding. The passenger demanded to jump off the plane while it was landing and had to be removed from the plane, the airport's security agency said at a meeting on Thursday.

It said that carriers need to prepare to deal with scenarios when passengers are high on drugs during a flight.

Tan Son Nhat, the largest airport in Vietnam, has already added special police units to deal with possible cases of meth menace that can endanger passengers.

Vietnamese police busted 24,700 drug-related cases and arrested 38,150 people, seized 1.8 tons of heroin, 216 kilos of opium, 141 kilos of cocaine, over 1.3 million pills and more than two tons of synthetic drugs last year.

Between 2015 and 2018, the number of cases increased by 10-13 percent annually. The amount of drugs seized in the first nine months of last year was higher than the total in 2017.

In Saigon, the number of known drug users as of last year was 23,500, a 7 percent increase from 2017.

Of the individuals registered for rehabilitation in the city, 70 percent use meth, according to the city's Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

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