Drug crimes have been on the rise in Vietnam with a 33 percent increase in the number of arrests made in the first half of this year, according to a new report.
The Ministry of Public Security said in a statement that police made more than 10,000 drug busts in the first six months, arresting nearly 16,000 suspects.
They also seized around 4,700 kilograms of drugs of various kinds, from heroin and cocaine to methamphetamine and marijuana.
The confiscated amount of meth and other synthetic drugs was 420 kilograms, up 45 percent from the same period last year, police said.
Most of the drugs were smuggled in from China, across border gates in Lang Son and Quang Ninh Provinces.
They also seized 75 guns from gangs.
Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or 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.
Although the laws have been strictly enforced with capital punishment handed down regularly, drug crimes are not curbed effectively.
Nguyen Dich Nam, deputy head of the drug crime division at the ministry, said transnational drug operations remain “complicated” at border areas with China and Laos.