Wanted northern drug trafficker arrested while doing business in HCMC

By Dam Huy, Thanh Nien News

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Vu Ngoc Thang, who was arrested by Ho Chi Minh City police with seven kilograms of meth on January 15, 2015. Photo: Nguyen Bao Vu Ngoc Thang, who was arrested by Ho Chi Minh City police with seven kilograms of meth on January 15, 2015. Photo: Nguyen Bao

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Ho Chi Minh City police last week arrested a northern man who had fled to the city after a warrant was issued for him in his hometown for drug trafficking.
Officers said they caught Vu Ngoc Thang on the street January 15 with seven kilograms of methamphetamine he was carrying to his accomplices in District 11.
He had a gun and several rounds of ammunition, they said.
The gang has been operating for six years, trafficking meth from Thang’s northern hometown Nam Dinh to HCMC.
The police also arrested his accomplices Tran Van Tuoi, 56, Tuoi’s wife Tran Thi Thanh Van, 36, and Nguyen Van Nhung, all HCMC residents.
Thang was in HCMC since 1995, but after serving 18 years in jail for robbery, he returned to Nam Dinh and got into the drugs business.
He first worked for his lover, only identified as H, but after she was executed for drug trafficking in 2009 he took over the leadership of the gang, which got its supplies from Dien Bien Province on the China border and Son La on the Laos border.

Ho Chi Minh City police seized seven kilograms of meth on January 15, 2015 from a drug gang led by Vu Ngoc Thang, a wanted man in the north. Photo: Nguyen Bao
When the gang’s operations were discovered, Thang fled to HCMC and hooked up with Tuoi and Nhung, fellow inmates in jail, to traffic meth.
The HCMC police said they began to keep tabs on the gang last December.
Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws.
Those convicted of trafficking more than 600 g of heroin or more than 2.5 kg of meth face death.
Producing or selling 100 g of heroin or 300 g of other drugs also carries the death penalty.

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