Investigators from the Ministry of Public Security have arrested six people for allegedly trying to smuggle nearly 120 kilograms of heroin in used gas cylinders to China.
They cut the bottom of the cylinders and put the drugs inside before welding the parts back, the police said, adding it was the first time someone had been caught in Vietnam attempting it.
Officers in Hanoi busted the operation last Thursday when they checked three parked cars and found a gas cylinder with traces of welding at the bottom.
They found 42 kilograms of heroin inside it and arrested all six people in the cars.
They found the rest of the heroin in two other cylinders along with two pistols at a restaurant owned by the kingpin, Nguyen Quoc Hung, 32.
Hung and the others said they brought the drugs from Son La Province on the Laos border to Hanoi and were on their way to China.
Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws.
Those convicted of trafficking more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilos of methamphetamine face death.
Producing or selling 100 g of heroin or 300 g of other drugs also carries the death penalty.