HCM City struggles in war on drugs

 Several recent large drug seizures in HCM City have raised concerns over the extent of drug crimes in the city, and the local administration is fighting back. 

HCM City struggles in war on drugs
Police in HCM City on March 20 seized 300kg of drugs and detained 11 drug traffickers, making it one of the biggest drug trafficking busts the city has seen. VNA/VNS Photo

In addition, thanks to widespread media coverage, abnormal behaviour after meth use is no longer a rarely seen phenomenon.

On March 11, 26-year-old Nguyen Hoang Nam in HCM City went on a violent killing spree that claimed the lives of both his parents, his grandmother and his girlfriend’s grandmother, reportedly fueled by the girlfriend’s family’s disapproval of his criminal record and meth.

Meth use by long-distance drivers also recently came to the forefront of public consciousness after a drugged driver ploughed through a crowd of people at a traffic intersection in Da Lat in March, luckily, there was no casualty, but the same could not be said about an accident in January that killed eight in Hai Duong Province, also by a driver on meth.

Given HCM City has the largest number of drug addicts in the country -- approximately 23,000 registered, making up 10 per cent of the country’s figure -- there's public demand for law enforcement agencies to handle these incidents.

Dr Huynh Thanh Hien from the HCM City Mental Health Hospital said the highs users get from crystal meth frequently involve delusions and aggression. Long-term abuse can alter the user’s personality, as well as damage the body and cognitive functions.

Hien also cautioned against a common misconception among the community that crystal meth is not as addictive as heroin or can be used to relieve dependence from the opioid, which often leads to double addictions.

According to law enforcement agencies, drug trafficking has become a complicated matter as aside from traditional delivery methods, the ease of making purchases of these illegal substances online via social media have contributed to the rise of drug uses, thwarting authorities' attempts to curb addiction.

In 2018, the city discovered nearly 1,400 drug-related cases involving nearly 3,000 individuals. About 2,500 were charged with trafficking and possession, up by 15 per cent compared to last year, with the amount of meth seized up 75 per cent (512kg in total).

Characterising drugs as “the mother of all crimes,” Minister of Public Security To Lam said attempts to reduce crimes would be for naught if drug crimes were not contained.

Cutting off supply and demand

 

Intensified crackdowns have uprooted drug rings in northern mountainous areas, forcing criminals to move southward, elevating the risks of turning HCM City into both a ‘terminal’ to move drugs originating in the Golden Triangle area to other countries, and a consumer market.

Nguyen Huu Nghiep, deputy head of the city’s customs department, said traffickers have taken advantage of the city’s policies aiming at easing customs procedures, especially automatic electronic declarations, to sneak drugs in and out of the country – usually by inserting drugs into the sleeves or linings of goods’ packages like CDs holders, computers’ hard disk drives, or vacuum cleaners.

The traffickers also use fake ID cards to deposit goods or hire an agency to declare the goods at customs to avoid the drugs being traced back to them.

HCM City Customs in recent times has made large-scale drug seizures from the US, Canada and some European countries that were brought to Vietnam via airways, post or express delivery services, Nghiep said, adding that from the beginning of 2018, the customs department also took notice of the rise in the trafficking of MDMA, or ecstasy.

In the recent bust of the largest amount of drugs ever in the country, which involved a ring that transported nearly 1 tonne of drugs over the span of nearly two years, HCM City authorities discovered another ruse that traffickers have been utilising: hiding drug packs in sacks of plastic beads meant to be exported to other countries, which mean they will not have to pass usual scanning at customs.

Aside from crackdowns on trans-provincial and trans-national drug rings, local authorities are also working to curb demand from the city's drug addicts.

The department also warned that drug addicts in the city are getting younger and are more likely to be dependent on multiple types of drugs at the same time.

Le Dong Phong, Director of the city’s police, said a preliminary survey of addicts in the city showed 80-90 per cent of them tested positive to drugs not on the authorities’ list of banned substances, necessitating a survey of addicts for appropriate preventive measures.

The municipal People’s Committee said it had supported grassroots drug rehab centres’ efforts to help addicts end drug dependence and provide psychological counselling to help them re-integrate them into the community and prevent relapses.

Dr Hien from HCM City Mental Health Hospital said that to prevent the danger of drugs, education and awareness raising programmes must be a critical component in the curriculum of students starting from secondary high school, saying that this is “the most affordable and safe measure.”

VNS

 
 

Other News

.
The promise before death of the man who donated his organs to save 10 people
The promise before death of the man who donated his organs to save 10 people
FEATUREicon  25/11/2020 

There were many things the married couple planned to do when they were united, but these never happened because of an accident that killed the husband.

Vietnam remains at high risk of COVID-19 infections: health minister
Vietnam remains at high risk of COVID-19 infections: health minister
SOCIETYicon  25/11/2020 

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has warned that Vietnam remains at high risk of COVID-19 infections from abroad as the number of cases in many countries keeps rising.

Tougher sanctions imposed on drunk drivers
Tougher sanctions imposed on drunk drivers
SOCIETYicon  25/11/2020 

Tougher sanctions will be imposed on drunk drivers in last months of the year as more year-end parties are usually organized this time; worse, about 40 percent of drivers drive under the influence of alcohol,

Vietnam to start raising retirement age from 2021
Vietnam to start raising retirement age from 2021
SOCIETYicon  25/11/2020 

The government has issued a roadmap for increasing the retirement age starting from 2021 following the adoption of revisions to the Labour Law that raises the threshold to 62 for men and 60 for women.

Inner-city bridges create new Hanoi urban facelift
Inner-city bridges create new Hanoi urban facelift
SOCIETYicon  25/11/2020 

Bridges have improved Hanoi’s connectivity with other provinces, boosting the growth of Hanoi and the northern region.

Better transport connectivity for southeast region needed for unleashing full potentials: Experts
Better transport connectivity for southeast region needed for unleashing full potentials: Experts
SOCIETYicon  25/11/2020 

Weak regional connectivity across land, air and sea has hampered the growth of southeast region of Vietnam. Economists believe for the region develop, it needs to change its mind set and strategy.

Hanoi Public Transport Association proposes bus-only lanes
Hanoi Public Transport Association proposes bus-only lanes
SOCIETYicon  24/11/2020 

Hanoi Public Transport Association has proposed to build 14 bus-only lanes in order to attract more passengers and reduce personal vehicles.

Underage labour investigation ordered after alleged torture of 14-year-old
Underage labour investigation ordered after alleged torture of 14-year-old
SOCIETYicon  24/11/2020 

Bac Ninh authorities on Monday ordered an investigation into underage labour in service and manufacturing units in the province following reports of alleged serious abuse of a 14-year-old boy in a restaurant in the northern province.

Chinese experts direct operation of Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway
Chinese experts direct operation of Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway
SOCIETYicon  24/11/2020 

Deputy General Director of China’s Railway Bureau 6 has come to Vietnam to direct the trial operation of Hanoi’s Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway system this December.

Imago Work and a story of an American family in Hanoi
Imago Work and a story of an American family in Hanoi
SOCIETYicon  25/11/2020 

An American woman whose son was born with Down syndrome has set up Imago Work project in Vietnam, to provide vocational training and job placements for young people who suffer from developmental disabilities.

Antimicrobial resistance remains high in Vietnam
Antimicrobial resistance remains high in Vietnam
SOCIETYicon  24/11/2020 

Antibiotics are overused and misused widely in Vietnam, health experts have warned, calling for drastic measures to curb antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the country.

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 24 (updated hourly)
VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 24 (updated hourly)
SOCIETYicon  24/11/2020 

A VN guestworker dies of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia

Work on Long Thanh international airport to start next month
Work on Long Thanh international airport to start next month
SOCIETYicon  23/11/2020 

Construction of the proposed Long Thanh international airport in the southern province of Dong Nai is expected to start next month as promised by the State-owned Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), the airport’s main developer.

New laws to handle fake news online
New laws to handle fake news online
SOCIETYicon  23/11/2020 

Minister of the Public Security To Lam speaks to Voice of Vietnam about a complete new set of laws designed to handle fake news on the internet.

Vietnam likely to become super-aging country by 2050: deputy minister
Vietnam likely to become super-aging country by 2050: deputy minister
SOCIETYicon  23/11/2020 

Vietnam entered an “aging phase” in 2011 and remains among the most rapidly aging countries in the world and, as such, might become a super-aging country by 2050, stated Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong.

Aging in Vietnam: The elderly to account for 20.4% by 2050
Aging in Vietnam: The elderly to account for 20.4% by 2050
SOCIETYicon  24/11/2020 

It takes Vietnam only 20 years to transform from 7% to 14% of the population aged 65 and over.

Vietnam’s coronavirus fight in remarks
Vietnam’s coronavirus fight in remarks
SOCIETYicon  23/11/2020 

Early response and strong sentiment towards self and community safety are believed to be important reasons.

Over US$370,351 collected in charity walk for poor residents
Over US$370,351 collected in charity walk for poor residents
SOCIETYicon  22/11/2020 

Over VND8.6 billion (US$370,351) was collected in a charity walk in Phu Nhuan District in Ho Chi Minh City for poor residents in Tet holiday ( the Lunar New Year) which is nearly coming.

Integrating traditional medicine into modern healthcare for patients' benefit
Integrating traditional medicine into modern healthcare for patients' benefit
SOCIETYicon  22/11/2020 

Alongside the development of modern medicine, the growing need for traditional Vietnamese medicine proves the effectiveness of the medicine in the old time; hence, integrating traditional medicine into modern healthcare will benefit patients much.

Hard work and natural talent add up
Hard work and natural talent add up
SOCIETYicon  22/11/2020 

Sixth grader Le Nguyen Hoang Nhat Dinh has had a love of numbers since he was little and is now far above his age when it comes to mathematics.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN