Five arrested for smuggling drugs from Vietnam to Australia

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Vietnamese narcotics police said Monday that Australian police had arrested five Australian nationals for smuggling around 12 kilograms of drug from China to Australia via Vietnam.

David Francesco Martelli, Guido Pirri, Shane Trout, Mark Cooper and Nguyen Minh Hien, an Australian of Vietnamese origin, were nabbed on September 13 in a joint operation of Australian and Vietnamese police.

Almost 10 kilograms of a liquid suspected to be phenylpiperazine and benzylpiperazine (BZP), more than one kilogram of a white powder believed to be 5-IAI (a variation of ecstasy) and 880 grams of methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) were seized, the Australian Federal Police said in a press release.

According to Vietnamese police, Martelli and Hien entered Vietnam early this year. The duo connived with other suspects to form a network to transport the illicit drugs from China to Vietnam's Lang Son Province, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and later to Australia.

Informed by their Vietnamese counterparts, Australian police arrested the five men while they were gathering at Hien's house in Australia to receive a cargo shipment of drugs.

Colonel Le Thanh Liem, deputy chief of Vietnamese Narcotics Police Department, said further investigations are ongoing.

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