Vietnam: Big success for customs as they seize drugs disguised as gifts from abroad; major Cambodia-Vietnam ring busted

HO CHI MINH CITY, April 27 (Vietnam News/ANN): Customs forces in southern Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City have seized nearly 36kg of drugs disguised as gifts sent from abroad, Vietnam News Agency reported Tuesday.

The drugs, which were seized on Monday, include ecstasy, marijuana and ketamine.

They were hidden in a wide range of boxes placed in 16 parcels and shipped from the United States, Canada and Germany to Ho Chi Minh City as personal gifts, according to the report.

Local authorities are further investigating the case.

As stipulated in Vietnamese laws, those convicted of smuggling over 600 grammes of heroin or more than 2.5kg of methamphetamine are punishable by death. Making or trading 100 grammes of heroin or 300 grammes of other illegal drugs also faces the death penalty.

Meanwhile, four people have been arrested and a number of illegal drugs seized after a two-month police investigation.

The Counter Narcotics Police Department under Ministry of Public Security on Tuesday announced the success of the operation smashing a drug trafficking ring between Cambodia and Vietnam.

Some of the drugs recovered were stuffed inside children’s toy animals.

In total, police seized 49 kilos of heroin, 13 kilos of methamphetamine, eight kilos of ketamine, 11,000 meth tablets, 1,000 bottles of Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (C4H8O3) commonly referred to as a “date rape drug” and 5,000 bags of a powdered substance.

At about 7.30pm on April 4, police arrested Diệp Trọng Hieu, born in 1988 and Tang Minh Trí, born in 1986 as they allegedly sold crystal meth.

Police found another 100 grammes of meth at Hiếu’s home address.

Also the same night, police raided Yến Trang Hotel in HCM City’s District 10, arresting a Phan Thị Thanh Nhan, born in 1990, living in Tan Phu District. A quantity of drugs were found hidden in animal toys.

Information she provided led police to a warehouse in Lạc Long Quân Street, District 11, were a large quantity of narcotics were seized.

Police also arrested another man, Nguyen Văn Thịnh, born in 1993, who was living in HCM City. - Vietnam News/ANN
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