3 arrested for producing synthetic drugs in Vietnam

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Three people were caught with heroin and chemicals to produce massive quantities of synthetic drugs, after an explosion took place during their manufacturing process in Ho Chi Minh City.

Speaking to Thanh Nien, Colonel Huynh Tri Thanh, chief of Go Vap District's police division, said Tran Van Ban, 55, Ha Minh Tho, 23, and another woman who was yet to be identified were arrested on suspicion of producing and possessing illegal drugs.

The ring, based at a rented house in Go Vap, was exposed after the explosion on March 20.

Informed by locals, district police rushed to the house, where the people inside were not leaving despite the chemical gases that were being emitted. They then refused to follow police orders to open the door.

More officers were called in before the force broke into the house.

There police found a package of heroin weighing one kilogram, more of the white powder in bags, a lump of pure "crystal" heroin, thousands of tablets of different medicines believed to be used for making drugs.  

Police said they also confiscated devices and tools used for the production together with 20,000 US and Australian dollars, and VND135 million (US$6,400) in cash. 

Ban told police that he learned how to make synthetic drugs when he was a coffee trader in Cambodia.

Last year end he asked Tho to join him in making drugs at the rented house and as of the time they were busted, they had produced four kilograms of drugs that they sold to an unknown person for VND800 million ($38,213).

Police are investigating.

In Vietnam, which has some of the world's toughest drug laws, those convicted of producing or selling 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics are eligible for the death penalty.

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