HA NOI — As many as 18 people involved in a major heroin trafficking ring suspected of smuggling over 600 packages from Laos to Viet Nam were arrested by the Ministry of Public Security's Drug Crime Investigation Police Department.
Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of the department, said the ring was tracked down after police teamed up with marine authorities and local forces in Hoa Binh, Quang Ninh and Son La.
Two suspects named Nguyen Duy Thang, 28, and Nguyen Thi Thuy Duong, 24, of Moc Chau Town in Son La Province, were caught red-handed on Tuesday at an apartment in Van Khe Urban Area in Ha Noi' Ha Dong District.
The police confiscated 89 packages of heroin, 34,000 ecstasy pills, 1 kilo of methamphetamine, one gun and one Honda Civic car at the apartment.
Previously, police arrested 16 suspects from Ha Noi, Son La and Bac Giang, seizing six cars amongst other exhibits. Meanwhile, police are continuing their hunt for six other members of the ring.
The suspects admitted to trafficking 625 packages of heroin and 15 kilos of methamphetamine from Laos to Viet Nam to sell in China via borders.
In addition, the suspects said they bought thousands of ecstasy pills from China to sell in Viet Nam.
Deputy Minister of Public Security Pham Quy Ngo said the scale of the case is only smaller than that of a foreign crime ring that smuggled eight tonnes of cannabis into Viet Nam in 2009.
Ngo ordered police to co-operate with local authorised agencies to further investigate the case. If police confirm the ring smuggled more than 600 packages of heroin, it will be a major case going on trial in the coming time, he said.
Ngo commended the police on Thursday for their achievement in arresting 10 members of the major heroin trafficking ring in only two days between July 3 and 4.
In another case, police in the northern province of Son La on Wednesday arrested a suspected drug trafficker with 15 kilos of heroin in Moc Chau District's Co Cham Village.
Song A Tenh, 41, from northern Hoa Binh Province, admitted that he bought the heroin from two ethnic Mong people in the district and was transporting the drugs to lowland provinces for sale.
According to Ngo, more than 2,300 cases of heroin trafficking were discovered and dealt with in the first six months of this year, double that of the same period last year. — VNS