|Lê Thành Đô, Chairman of the Điện Biên People’s Committee, awards certificates to honour officers for their great success in fighting drug criminals. — VNA/VNS Photo|
ĐIỆN BIÊN — In a major drug bust, Vietnamese and Laotian authorities have arrested 15 members of a cross-border cartel, seizing 38 bricks of heroin, 3kg of methamphetamines, a firearm, ammunition and AK magazine speed loader, and LAK180 million (US$10,696).
The operation, which resulted from a five-month investigation, was carried out with the cooperation of police departments in Điện Biên, Lai Châu, Lào Cai and Phongsaly and Oudomxay.
The crackdown in January this year was hailed as a success by the Chairman of the Điện Biên People’s Committee Lê Thành Đô, who awarded certificates of recognition to ten teams of police officers from both countries, along with officers of Điện Biên's Border Guards, Customs and People's Procuracy who helped crack the case.
The Ministry of Public Security also praised the Điện Biên Police Department, the Narcotics Investigation Police Department, the Professional Technique Department, and the Representative Office of the Ministry of Public Security in Laos for their great success in fighting drug criminals.
According to Colonel Vũ Đình Nghi, Deputy Chief of the Điện Biên Narcotics Investigation Police Department, the traffickers had been using a complex network that involved smuggling drugs from the Golden Triangle area to Laos and then transferring them across the border into Việt Nam. Despite the challenges, authorities dismantled the cartel within 75 hours of the operation.
Drug traffickers admitted trading more than 412 bricks of heroin, 28kg of opium and 3kg of methamphetamine since August 2022, according to the police. — VNS