Over 20 caught using drugs in Saigon karaoke parlor

By Nhat Vy   July 15, 2019 | 05:38 am PT
Over 20 caught using drugs in Saigon karaoke parlor
People arrested for using drugs at a karaoke parlor in HCMC, July 15, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Thang.
A pre-dawn police raid Monday on a karaoke parlor in Saigon found 22 customers using banned substances.

In the early hours on Monday, anti-narcotics police officers in Ho Chi Minh City raided a karaoke parlor called The Moon on Huynh Tan Phat Street, District 7. The parlor was open past midnight.

Seeing the police, many people threw small plastic bags containing drugs on the floor and tried to escape into toilets. The police seized many small plastic bags containing pills and powders.

Dozens of customers, five employees and a parlor manager were taken to the police station for drug tests. Of these, 22 tested positive for banned substances. They told the police that they were invited by a friend to attend a ‘drug party.’

The 40-year-old parlor owner Au Quang Hien and his employees could be charged with "organizing the illegal use of narcotics," a crime punishable by up to life imprisonment in Vietnam.

Police will investigate this case further.

They allege that over the past two months, the parlor has received groups of customers from late in the night to the small hours of the next day. The parlor’s employees allegedy prepared drugs, tools used to administer drugs and music to serve their customers.

Vietnamese police have recently intensified their crackdown on drug abuse at nightclubs and karaoke parlors across the country.

Last month, around 200 patrons were detained in a police raid on a night club in the southern province of Dong Nai for using banned drugs.

Earlier, 70 customers were held after testing positive for drugs following a pre-dawn police raid on a karaoke parlor in Long An Province, southern Vietnam.

Drug use is strictly prohibited in the country and users would be fined and taken to rehab centers. Producing or trading drugs are criminal offense that can face death penalty.

Each year around 1,600 people die of drug overdose in Vietnam. Around $93.7 million is spent on buying drugs and $44.6 million on running rehab facilities.

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