190 kilos of firecrackers seized on bus from Laos to Vietnam

By Nguyen Dung, Thanh Nien News

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Four men arrested with 190 kilograms of firecrackers smuggled from Laos July 9. Photo courtesy of Ha Tinh Border Guards Four men arrested with 190 kilograms of firecrackers smuggled from Laos July 9. Photo courtesy of Ha Tinh Border Guards

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Border guards in Ha Tinh Province in central Vietnam Saturday arrested four men for smuggling 190 kilograms of firecrackers from Laos on a passenger bus.
They checked the bus at a border gate and found the contraband hidden in a makeshift storage under layers of mattresses and rice sacks.
Four men aged between 24 and 38, who were in charge of the bus, were arrested for questioning.
They said that on July 7 a stranger in the Laotian capital Vientiane offered to pay them VND9.1 million (US$410) to carry the firecrackers to Vietnam.
A border guard officer said there were enough to blow up the bus.
Early last month a bus carrying 200 kg of fireworks exploded in Laos on its way to Vietnam, and eight Vietnamese passengers were killed.
Firecrackers were banned in Vietnam 20 years ago, but people in many areas still set them off during traditional festivals and celebrations, which fuels smuggling from Laos and China.

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