23 charged with drug trafficking in Vietnam

TN News

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Vietnam 's highest prosecutorial office, the People's Supreme Procuracy, announced Saturday it has ratified charges against 23 people for trafficking over 333 kilograms of heroin.

According to prosecutors, the members of the ring face charges of drug trafficking and acting against officials on a public mission, adding that seven others are still at large.

The ring, led by Trang A Chu, 36, was busted on May 18 in 2011 when Chu was caught transporting over 16 kilograms of heroin and 400 synthetic drug tablets in a car from the northern province of Son La to Hanoi.

That day police officers tried to stop his car on a road in the northern province of Hoa Binh. But, he sped up and crashed his vehicle into a police car, killing one officer and injuring another.

After the crash, Chu locked his car, and attempted suicide by hitting his head with a flashlight and slashing his wrist with a shard of glass. But the attempt was foiled by police.

As they expanded their investigation, police arrested more members of the ring, which was found trafficking more than 333 kilograms of heroin in five northern provinces and Hanoi.

In other news, police in the northern province of Lao Cai caught Giang Seo Lenh, 44, transporting two kilograms of heroin on a motorbike on Saturday, Tuoi Tre reported.

Lenh, chief of Sin Chai Village in Phong Hai Town, attempted to escape when traffic officers signaled for him to pull over on National Road 70.

However, he was arrested after two-kilometer chase.

Police confiscated the heroin and two mobile phones from a black bag he was carrying with him.

The case is being investigated.

Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. Those convicted of smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine face the death penalty.

The production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is also punishable by death.

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