Busted Vietnam gang claims it smuggled 206 kilos of heroin into China

TN News

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The Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security said Thursday it has busted a drug gang that allegedly smuggled more than 206 kilograms of heroin and 15 kilograms of methamphetamine from Laos to China through Vietnam.

On Tuesday and Wednesday police had seized more than 43 kg of heroin, one kilogram of meth, and more than 100,000 ecstasy tablets from two groups in Son La and Hoa Binh Provinces in the north, with both hauls turning out to belong to the gang.

Major General Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of the ministry's anti-drug force, said the ministry coordinated with police in Quang Ninh Province on the China border to arrest 17 suspects, the youngest being 19, and is looking for six others.

He said the smugglers passed through many provinces Quang Tri and Ha Tinh on the Lao border, and Son La, Hoa Binh, and Lang Son in the north -- before reaching China.

Hundreds of ecstasy tablets from China had also been sold in Vietnam, the police found.

Deputy Minister of Public Security Lieutenant General Pham Quy Ngo said the drug operation was the biggest ever by a Vietnamese gang.

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He ordered ministry officials to confirm the gang's claim that it had smuggled 206 kilograms of heroin to China, and to expand the investigation so that no suspect slips out of the net.

He said there had been more than 2,300 drug busts in the first six months of this year, more than double the number in the same period last year.

Vietnam has the death penalty for trafficking of more than 0.6 kg of heroin.

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