Saigon drug bust yields ‘biggest ever’ heroin haul

By Quoc Thang   July 13, 2018 | 04:22 am PT
Saigon drug bust yields ‘biggest ever’ heroin haul
Packs of heroin seized in Ho Chi Minh City's biggest drug bust. Photo courtesy by the police
Police have seized 59 kilograms of heroin in HCMC as they busted a massive drug trafficking gang led by a 58-year-old resident.

The Anti-Drug Trafficking Department of the Minstry of Public Security said on Friday that they had destroyed the drug operation led by Phan Huu Hieu.

The ring transferred drugs from Laos into the central city of Da Nang before distributing them to other areas, police said.

The heroin packs were seized and several people arrested in operations conducted in several HCMC districts, including Tan Phu District and districts 1 and 3.

“This is the biggest heroin seizure we have made in HCMC,” an unnamed police officer said.

In the first five months this year, Vietnamese police 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).

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.

Vietnam is a key trafficking hub for narcotics, 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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