A mother and daughter in Da Nang have received strict punishment for running what police said the biggest drug smuggling ring in the central city in 2014.
Pham Thi Nga, 45, got life sentence and her daughter Pham Thi Bich Phuong, 24, got 20 years for drug smuggling, Da Nang People’s Court said at a trial Saturday.
According to the indictment, Nga’s family migrated from the northern province of Lang Son to Da Nang in 2000 to trade electronics from China, woods from Laos and also worked as a loan shark.
In late 2013, she got divorced and became addicted to methamphetamine. She then got involved in drug smuggling with Hoang Quoc Cuong, 55, her old friend in Lang Son.
Nga spent hundreds of thousands of dollars opening the Honey Hotel and Sao Sang Kindergarten in Da Nang and investing in real estate to cover up her drug business.
On October 19, 2014, the police caught Nga at a bus station in Da Nang with more than 2,508 ecstasy pills.
They then found 167 grams of methamphetamine at the Honey Hotel and more than two kilograms of meth hidden in 14 milk bottles in the teachers’ room at the Sao Sang Kindergarten.
Phuong told the police her mother opened the school to serve as a drug haven and told her to manage it as she is studying to be a teacher herself.
She said they believed using the kindergarten as a meth store would help evade police detection.
A photo taken on October 19, 2014 shows Pham Thi Bich Phuong crying after the police found milk bottles containing meth at a kindergarten her mother opened for her to manage in the central city of Da Nang. Photo: Nguyen Tu
She used the hotel as a supply point for her mules, most of them ex-convicts, rather than to let out rooms.
Police said Nga had also assigned her two younger children, 20 and 22 years old, to deliver drugs in packed consignments. However, they were not charged because they were not aware that it was drug.
Police are still hunting for Nga's old friend Hoang Quoc Cuong and his daughter, Hoang Thi Xoan, 34, both were also alleged of involving in the ring.