Vietnamese police have arrested five people alleged to be members of a gang that smuggled heroin, weapons and methamphetamine between Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam and Hai Phong City in the north.
The alleged gang leader, Tran Hoang Nhat, was arrested on Oct. 21 at a hotel in HCMC's Go Vap Dist. while he was trading about 1kg of methamphetamine with Mai Van Linh from Hai Phong.
Police said Nhat attempted to fire a handgun at them before he was subdued. No officer was hurt.
Nguyen Hoang Hai, Vu Huu Quy and Le Thi Huong were arrested in a subsequent raid in Hai Phong City, during which police seized 13 guns and ammunitions.
Major General Ho Sy Tien of the Ministry of Public Security said the arrested suspects are part of an organized criminal gang that involved in loan sharking, drug and weapon trading, appropriating private property and illegal football betting.
Its major operation was smuggling heroin to Hai Phong to trade for weapons and methamphetamine that would be resold in HCMC, he said.
Investigators said Nhat’s gang often hired women, including students, to traffic drug, which was usually hidden in their shoe soles, to Hai Phong. The trick was not new, but that showed loopholes in narcotics detection at airports, Tien said.
Detection dogs should be deployed to airports to improve drug smuggling prevention, he said.