Vietnam, Laos bust transnational drug smuggling rings

By Ngoc Minh, Thanh Nien News

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Vietnamese and Laotian border police have busted three transnational drug rings, seizing more than 46 kilograms of illicit drugs this month, Thanh Hoa Province’s border guard said.
Colonel Le Kha Cong, deputy commander of Thanh Hoa Border Guard, said Tuesday the gangs were busted following joint operation of Vietnam and Laos between February 29 and March 12.
He said the gangs were led by Vietnamese ethnic men living in mountainous districts of Thanh Hoa near the border with Laos.
They usually bought heroin and other drugs from the Golden Triangle and processed in the districts before selling the drugs to local dealers. 
Most of gang members are Vietnamese ethnic minority people, police said. 
The Golden Triangle is an area of around 950,000 square kilometers that overlaps the mountains of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. It is one of Asia's two main opium-producing areas.
As part of the joint operation, Vietnamese and Lao police March 11 arrested three Laotian men while they were smuggling large quantities of drugs into Vietnam.
Xipasot Anuvong, 24, Keoma Latsi, 36, and Khamphet Khambut Xaba, 44, were caught carrying around four kilograms of heroin and 42,000 pills of a synthetic drug in a car in Savannakhet Province.
The trio admitted that they bought the drugs in Savannakhet and planned to bring them to Vietnam’s Quang Tri Province for sale.

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