Police in the north-central province of Nghe An have arrested three people for allegedly smuggling more than seven kilograms of heroin from Laos into Vietnam.
Police said they spent four months tracking the trio before sweeping in to make the arrest on Tuesday.
At around 10 p.m. on that day, police arrested Cu Minh Tuan, 29, in a vehicle containing the drugs on National Highway 1A in Nghe An’s Dien Chau District.
On the same day, police arrested Nguyen Quoc Khanh, 54, and his girlfriend, Nguyen Thi Luat, 29, at the Beijing Hotel in Vinh, the provincial capital. Khanh, Tuan’s senior in the ring, reportedly pointed a gun at police before being taken into custody.
A subsequent raid of his house in town led to the seizure of 300 grams of methamphetamine, VND297 million (US$14,025) and three cars.
Police said Khanh, a drug user, oversees a smuggling ring that moves the drugs from Laos to Vietnam to sell in northern provinces.
The three arrestees at the police station. Photo credit: CAND Online
Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. Those convicted of 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.