Big drug batches seized in Vietnam and risk of smuggling hub

Vietnam is in the drug path from the Golden Triangle, which is now the world`s largest methamphetamine production hub.

Big drug batches seized in Vietnam and risk of smuggling hub
Illustrative image

More than six tons of drug have been seized in Vietnam in the first four months of this year, exceeding the volume of the whole 2018.

The drug caught between January and April 2019 was collected from more than 6,500 cases, involving in foreign traffickers, such as Laotian, Chinese, and Filipino.

The seized volume includes 1,270 “bricks” of heroin, three tons of methamphetamine, and 300 kg of methylene dioxy methamphetamine (MDMA), according to VnExpress.

The drug was found in the northern province of Cao Bang, which borders with China, in the central province of Nghe An and Ha Tinh bordering with Laos, and in the southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City.

Much of the country's illegal supply floods in from the outlawed “Golden Triangle” zone, which straddles Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, the world’s top production hub of methamphetamine and the second largest hub of heroin behind Afghanistan, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The path was from the Golden Triangle through Laos, Cambodia, then to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City or from the Golden Triangle through Laos to the northern and central Vietnam, heading to the south and shipped to another countries or territories like China, Taiwan, and the Philippines, and then exported to the US, Canada, and Australia.

 

Jeremy Douglas, the UNODC’s regional representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, tweeted that more meth has been found in Vietnam as organized gangs push the market and supply keeps moving easily across Laotian and Cambodian borders with the volume so far this year equal to that of total three previous years.

He said that drug smuggling rings have shifted drug from the Golden Triangle to Laos instead of Thailand before, then ship to other destinations.

In a latest move, the Straitstimes reported that police in southern Vietnam have seized more than a ton of methamphetamine after uncovering a smuggling operation involving at least two Taiwanese nationals and a Vietnamese man, the third massive bust in a week in the country.

Vietnam is both a hub for drug use and a popular thoroughfare for shipments of illicit narcotics, with the number of large-scale hauls increasing in frequency and volume.

Earlier this year, Vietnamese Minister of Public Security To Lam warned that Vietnam might become an international drug hub if more efforts would not be made.

Though older users in Vietnam have long preferred opium and heroin as their narcotic of choice, younger people are increasingly turning to party drugs such as meth, ketamine and ecstasy, the Straitstimes reported.

Vietnam has some of the toughest drug laws in the world. Anyone caught with more than 600g of heroin or more than 2.5kg of methamphetamine can face the death penalty. Hanoitimes

 
 

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