Vietnam cops seize US$2.5m heroin in China border drug bust

February 27, 2018 | 13:59
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HANOI: Five men were arrested in Vietnam for allegedly attempting to smuggle US$2.5 million worth of heroin into China after police shot at their drug-packed vehicle as they tried to flee, local media reported on Monday (Feb 26).
vietnam cops seize us 25m heroin in china border drug bust
Alleged drug smuggler and ringleader, Tran Van Bang, 31, standing with a large pile of heroin bricks after five arrests were made in a bust in northern Vietnam. (Photo: AFP/Vietnam News Agency)

The men were caught in northern Cao Bang province on the border with China with nearly 100kg of heroin from Laos in their truck, state-run Thanh Nien newspaper reported.

Vietnam is a key trafficking hub for narcotics from the "Golden Triangle" covering Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, one of the world's largest drug producing regions, and the latest bust is one of the largest in Vietnam in recent months.

The five Vietnamese men were arrested between Friday and Saturday as they tried to drive past police in the northern province, prompting "authorities to open fire", Thanh Nien reported.

Photos on state media showed the alleged ringleader, 31-year-old Tran Van Bang, standing with a large pile of heroin bricks.

The bust follows a similar seizure last month in northern Vietnam, where police confiscated 170kg of heroin worth US$3 million also from Laos, reportedly the largest-ever drug haul in the one-party state.

Vietnam has some of the toughest drug laws in the world. Anyone caught with more than 600g of heroin or more than 20kg of opium could face the death penalty.


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