3 Lao drug smugglers arrested in central Vietnam

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Three Lao nationals were busted with 13,200 synthetic drug tablets as they tried to transport them into Vietnam through a border gate in the central province of Quang Tri.

Quang Tri border guards in collaboration with police from Laos arrested Thamsavan, 41, Laketngam, 20, and Kongketngam, 28, near the Lao Bao border gate in Huong Hoa District on March 24.

They were travelling in a car with a Lao license plate and 50 million Lao Kip (US$6,232), according to border guards.

Initial information was that they bought the drugs in Savanakhet Province, Laos, and attempted to transport them by road into Vietnam, where they would be sold.

According to Vietnamese border guards, they had been following the group for nearly three months prior to making the arrests.

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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