Officials in Quang Ninh Province in northern Vietnam are investigating after a man was caught smuggling in three kilograms of narcotics from China.
Border officials caught Nguyen Van Van, 24, Friday afternoon with nearly two kilograms of methamphetamine and one kilogram of the anaesthetic ketamine in bags.
Van said he was paid nearly VND10 million (US$450) by a person to carry the drugs from China to Hai Phong.
Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or 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.
Though the laws have been strictly enforced with capital punishment handed down regularly, drug crimes are not falling. There was a 33 percent increase in the number of arrests made in the first half of this year compared to a year ago.
Police said transnational drug operations are rife along the borders with China and Laos.