Vietnam couple make meth from cold medicine

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Police in Thanh Hoa Province in northern Vietnam Monday arrested a couple for allegedly extracting pseudoephedrine (PSE), a common cold medicine ingredient, and producing methamphetamine.

Many used packs of Tiffy, a popular brand of cold medicine, were found in front of the house of Le Si Thieu and his wife Le Thi Thanh in Tho Dan Commune, Trieu Son District, news website VnExpress reported.

The police seized more than 40 grams of meth powder produced from the extraction and 90 kg of tablets and nine cartons of the medicine.

Tuan, head of the Ministry of Public Security's Drug Crime Investigation Unit, said officers from his unit recently accompanied officials from the Ministry of Health on inspections and found that medicines containing PSE, a major ingredient for meth, are being sold widely in the market despite orders to limit import and registration.

"Our pharmaceutical management regulations are too lax," he said.

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"Criminals have taken advantage of that and bought as much of the medicine they could afford."

Deputy Minister of Public Security Lieutenant General Pham Quy Ngo said last week that there had been more than 2,300 drug busts in the first six months of this year, more than double the number in the same period last year.

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