Woman arrested in northern Vietnam with drugs carried from Laos border

By Phan Anh   June 6, 2019 | 11:15 am GMT+7
Woman arrested in northern Vietnam with drugs carried from Laos border
Nguyen Thi Lien (L) is questioned by police in Nam Dinh Province for drug smuggling. Photo by Vietnam News Agency.
A woman who allegedly trafficked drugs from Laos border to Hanoi and northern provinces has been arrested.

The police said on Tuesday that last month they caught Nguyen Thi Lien, 42, delivering seven kilograms of meth and 15,000 amphetamine pills from the northern province to Nam Dinh.

She had divided the drugs into small packets disguised as tea bags and hid them in suitcases to evade detection, they said.

She told the police she would go often to Ha Tinh Province, which neighbors Laos, to buy synthetic drugs in large quantities and bring them back to sell in Hanoi and northern provinces.

At the time of her arrest she brought along her 16-month-old child to allay suspicion.

The police are investigating if she has links to any gang.

Demand for narcotics in Vietnam remains high and enforcement agencies have not been able to completely stop the infiltration of drugs, Minister of Public Security To Lam has said.

He said Vietnam’s proximity to the Golden Triangle, an intersection of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar and the world’s second largest drug producing area after the Golden Crescent in South Asia, its long border and economic opening up are factors complicating the situation.

Vietnamese authorities deal with around 20,000 cases involving drugs every year and arrest 30,000 people. The country has some 250,000 registered addicts, but actual figures could be much higher.

The drug situation has not improved despite Vietnam 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 methamphetamine face death.

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