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Police work slows down heroin trade

Update: June, 14/2018 - 07:30
Colonel Phạm Duy Cảnh (pointing to the map) discusses with his colleagues while investigating a heroin trafficking case. — Photo Courtesy of Phạm Duy Cảnh
Viet Nam News

ĐIỆN BIÊN — The northern mountainous province of Điện Biên used to be a hot spot of heroin trafficking. While the problem still exists in the province today, it has eased dramatically thanks to the brave efforts of the police and security services.

One of those involved in solving the problem is Colonel Phạm Duy Cảnh, head of the drug crime investigation sub-department, often named PC47, under the Điện Biên Police.

Cảnh is among 70 outstanding people who were honoured during celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of late President Hồ Chí Minh’s call for patriotic emulation. 

Cảnh was honoured for his achievements in upholding national security. He was nominated for the title of Hero of the People’s Armed Forces.

Cảnh started working at PC47 in December 2009, and has since dedicated himself entirely to easing the issue of heroin trafficking in the region.

Cảnh has worked on a number of heroin trafficking cases, and the work of himself and his colleagues has led to the arrest of hundreds of traffickers and the destruction of several trafficking rings.

Cảnh said that one of his most memorable cases was known as Case 1110T. The traffickers under investigation were sly and prepared to die rather than be caught, he said.

Under the case, towards the end of 2010, the PC47, under Cảnh’s instruction, caught Tráng A Dơ, 30, from Điện Biên Đông District, in the act of transporting close to a kilo of heroin.

The police decided to investigate the case further.

On November 12, 2010, Cảnh continued to guide the police as they caught Hạng A Thò and Hạng A Chính in Mường Chà District. The two were hailing a taxi to transport more than 4.5 kg of heroin. They were part of the Tráng A Dơ’s ring.

When the case ended, 13 people had been prosecuted. They admitted to the police to trafficking 49.52 kg of heroin. Their sentences included 20 years imprisonment, life imprisonment and the death sentence.

“To conduct the case, I directly questioned the suspects and presented evidence from the scene,” said Cảnh.

During the investigation, many field trips were implemented to the ChinaViệt Nam border area in Tung Chung Phố Commune, Mường Khương District in Lào Cai Province.

Cảnh said that Lồ A Châu’s house, one of members of the ring, was close to the border, if the police were not vigilant enough, the traffickers could easily have escaped over the border and the mission would be a failure.

Leader’s skill and spirit

In another case with code number 716Đ, the police had to withdraw twice because the traffickers were too dangerous.

Cảnh said that the traffickers, most of whom were Lao, joined hands with many people living in the border area to take heroin from Laos to Điện Biên Province and then sold it to a third country. 

The most dangerous thing was that the traffickers had weapons, and knew the area of the locality very well.

“After withdrawing our troops twice, I realised that all of the police were quite tired, I encouraged them and decided to move forward and execute the case,” said Cảnh.

At 7.30am on July 29, 2016, the PC47 caught Lò Văn Đia, 26, Laos nationality, in Si Pa Phìn Commune, Nậm Pồ District. He was transporting more than 7.3 kilos of heroin.

Đia fought against the police violently, moreover, it rained heavily together with strong winds at that time, but he was still caught after one hour.

In the hot spot of heroin trafficking in Điện Biên Province, the PC47’s struggle to achieve peace for local residents is a non-stop battle. With the determination and bravery of the police and other forces, security is gradually returning to the area. — VNS

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