Customs and police forces have busted a major ring that smuggled drug from South America into Vietnam, seizing a total of 43 kilograms of cocaine.
The case was first detected on May 15 when Ho Chi Minh City customs officers found 31.6 kg of cocaine in a container at the Cat Lai Port.
The drug was hidden inside 10 pallets that support the declared consignment of floor wooding imported from South America.
160 cocaine bars were hidden in 40 pieces of wood in the pallets, investigators said.
Subsequent investigation led to the seizure of more than 10 kg of cocaine in a consignment of a company in Hanoi, carefully hidden in welded iron tubes.
Total weight of cocaine busted in two cases is 43 kg, with market price estimated to be more than VND100 billion (US$4.58 million), police said.
Investigators only said they have arrested “several” suspects for investigation and that they have provided information for Hong Kong police, which led to the seizure of another 19.3 kg of cocaine there.
Police are expanding investigation into the case.
Deputy prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has praised relevant forces and instructed to reward them for the largest cocaine smuggling case being busted in Vietnam.
He also instructed the Ministry of Public Security to coordinate with relevant countries to thorough bust the transnational drug smuggling ring.
Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. According to its Penal Code, those convicted of smuggling 100 grams of heroin or cocaine or 300 grams of other drugs can be sentenced to death.