|Three of the four smugglers are arrested with about 4,000 ecstasy pills smuggled acrossViet Nam-Laos border.—Photo Thanh Hoa Newspaper
THANH HOA (VNS) — The Viet Nam Department of Drug Prevention and Control and soldiers in this northern province, along with their Lao partners, have smashed a drug-smuggling ring operating across the Viet Nam-Laos border.
The drug bust was facilitated by the efforts of the department's partners from the Laos Ministry of Security and the bordering Houaphanh Province authority.
Thao Giang Ho, 55, one of the four smugglers from Sam Nuea District, Houaphanh Province, in Laos was arrested on Monday with 40,000 Ecstasy pills in his possession. Investigators found these pills had been smuggled from Laos to Viet Nam.
In the course of the investigation, the smuggler confessed to the crime and revealed the names of three other traffickers: Nang Chu Ho, 51; Thao Vi Tho, 35; and Chong Va Tho, 40.
Besides the Ecstasy pills, the police also seized 200g of heroin and cash sums of US$30,000 and 13 million Lao Kips.
The arrest, including the seizure of the largest volume of Ecstasy discovered to date, was hailed as a success by the two countries' anti-narcotics police forces, who said they were expanding their investigation into the ring.
Vietnamese police have handed over the smugglers and all the relevant documents to the Laos authorities for prosecution.
Last month, police in Viet Nam's central Ha Tinh Province, in co-operation with their partners in Bolikhamxay Province in Laos, launched an investigation into and took down a drug-smuggling ring involving 11 smugglers, including one Thai and 10 Laos citizens. All the accused were arrested. Some 5.5 tonnes of cocaine and cannabis were seized during the bust, along with a great deal of drug paraphernalia. — VNS