Vietnam drug sting busts buses from Laos

By Hoang Tao   January 12, 2023 | 04:54 pm PT
Vietnam drug sting busts buses from Laos
Custom officers in Quang Tri Province check packages they suspect to contain drugs inside, January 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Quang Ha
Officers found a total of 6kg of drugs on four passenger buses entering Vietnam at the Lao Bao border gate in the central province of Quang Tri this week.

Customs and police forces have arrested eight Vietnamese people, whose identities are still unclear, for smuggling the drugs from Laos.

On Wednesday morning, officers at the Lao Bao border gate performed luggage inspections on two passenger buses that had just entered Vietnam, both of which carried Vietnamese license plates. They found one package of drugs each on both busses. The drugs were not confiscated and instead placed back on the bus and seemingly no action was taken.

But the customs officers then teamed up with local police and border patrol to follow the two buses.

Later that day, three people were caught as they received the two packages in Thua Thien–Hue Province, which borders Quang Tri.

Police found 0.5kg of drug in one package and 1.3kg of drug in the other.

An inspection of the house at which the three people had arrived uncovered another 40 pills of synthetic drugs and 100 grams of ketamine.

Previously, on the morning January 8, customs officers at Lao Bao had engaged in a similar operation in which they found drugs on two buses entering Vietnam.

One bus was registered in Vietnam and the other in Laos.

On the evening of that day, police arrested five people who received the packages in the central city of Da Nang. They found 4.4kg of drugs hidden inside the suitcases.

Vietnam is a key trafficking hub for narcotics, despite 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 meth 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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