Suspected drug smuggler shot dead in police gunfight

By Thai Son, Thanh Nien News

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A Son La Police's photo shows officers checking the site of a gunfight that killed one smuggler near the Laos border on March 7, 2015. A Son La Police's photo shows officers checking the site of a gunfight that killed one smuggler near the Laos border on March 7, 2015.

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A heroin smuggling suspect was shot to death in a gunfight against police in Vietnam's Son La Province, near the border with Laos, late Saturday.
About 10 other suspects fled across the border, leaving an AK-47 rifle, a handgun and more than 13 kg of heroin alleged smuggled from Laos, the police said.
According to the police, the suspects penetrated Vietnam from Laos. Upon seeing the patrolling police group, they opened fire and released their hound dogs on the officers. 
The police fired back and shot down the smuggler after several minutes.
The police are identifying the dead suspects.
Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws, which make those convicted of smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine face the death penalty.
The country has arrested and convicted scores of dealers and smugglers from Laos every year.
But instead of being discouraged, the smugglers have only become more violent of late, arming themselves and fighting back.
One Son La officer was shot and later died of his injuries while he was trying to arrest a suspected drug mule in January this year. Last July, another police officer was killed in a gunfight against drug smugglers in the province.
The police said many foreign smuggling gangs of about ten members each have operated in Son La and Hoa Binh - provinces in northwestern Vietnam that border Laos.

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