Vietnam seizes 16.8 tons of drugs, 1.1 tons of ivory in 5 years

By Hoang Thuy   August 7, 2020 | 10:00 pm PT
Vietnam seizes 16.8 tons of drugs, 1.1 tons of ivory in 5 years
Border guards in the central province of Ha Tinh that borders Laos arrest a Vietnamese man smuggling heroin and ecstasy pills from Laos into Vietnam, July 12, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Han.
Border guards have confiscated over 16.8 tons of narcotics, 1.1 tons of ivory and 190,000 tons of coal from smugglers since 2015.

In the five-year period they detected 54,300 cases of smuggling and arrested over 90,000 smugglers.

They have also rescued almost 2,000 victims from human traffickers, Deputy Commander of the Border Guard, Major General Le Duc Thai, said at a meeting in Hanoi on Thursday.

Of the cases, 5,000 involving 6,100 defendants have gone to court.

Vietnam 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 methamphetamine face the death penalty.

As for ivory, Vietnam first outlawed its trade in 1992 but remains a top market, with ivory products being prized for decorative purposes and traditional medicine.

Weak law enforcement across the country has allowed a black market to flourish, with Vietnam a busy thoroughfare for tusks trafficked from Africa mainly to China.

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