Vietnam, Laos remain hot spots for Golden Triangle drug trade

By Pham Du   October 27, 2022 | 01:35 am PT
Vietnam, Laos remain hot spots for Golden Triangle drug trade
Police check drugs smuggled into Vietnam from Laos. Photo by police
Gangs usually transfer drugs from the Golden Triangle to Vietnam and Laos either for consumption or transport to other markets, police said.

They choose Vietnam and Laos because both countries share a long border of 2,300 kilometers and neighbor China, Thailand and Myanmar, facilitating drug trafficking, officials said at a conference on drug prevention and control of Vietnamese and Lao police held Wednesday in Hanoi.

Nguyen Duy Ngoc, Deputy Minister of Public Security, told the conference that drug traffickers have taken full advantage of the policy to open borders to boost socio-economic development between Laos and Vietnam and operate more actively than before.

Drugs from the Golden Triangle, an intersection of China, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar and the world's second largest drug-producing area behind the Golden Crescent in South Asia, were transferred to Vietnam and Laos for consumption or transport to other markets, he said.

Both Lao and Vietnamese police told the conference that the common trick gangs use is set up a closed line with the mastermind never in sight, even when it comes to transferring money to transporters.

They communicate mostly through social media and avoid using phones as much as possible. During the transport process, those gangs have their own rules to communicate and are armed with AK 47 rifles, sniper rifles, and grenades.

Once they get the drugs, they often hire local people living in border areas to transport it across the border via illegal and small trails. To avoid police, they usually hide the drugs in boxes of agricultural products like dried bamboo shoots and rice.

A collaborative operation between Vietnam and Laos has identified four routes via which drug mules usually transfer shipments from the Golden Triangle into Laos and then to Vietnam. Police in both countries have also set up a map of several spots along the borders that usually act as drug transport hubs.

go to top