Police of Vietnam’s northern Dien Bien province have detained two local drug traffickers, confiscating 220 cakes of heroin weighing 77 kg, Vietnam News Agency reported on Sunday.
The male detainees, aged 28 and 31, were caught red-handed trading the drug in the province’s Dien Bien district on Saturday at noon. They confessed that they had bought the drug in Laos and transported to Vietnam for consumption.
According to the Vietnamese law, those convicted of smuggling over 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kg of methamphetamine are punishable by death. Making or trading 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal drugs also faces death penalty.
According to a report by Hai Thanh Luong on the Diplomat, on March 25 in Hanoi, Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) held a press conference on the preliminary work of drug enforcement agencies (DEAs). According to data given at the press conference, in the first quarter of 2019 alone, law enforcement forces nationwide investigated 6,552 drug-related crimes and seized more than 6 tons of illegal drugs — more than the number of cases and quantities seized in all of 2018.
Meanwhile, the borders between countries along the Mekong River remain weak and easy to overcome. Collaborative support among border patrols is still insufficient and needs to be strengthened. Since the October 2011 murder of 13 Chinese sailors traveling down the Mekong River, China has encouraged and cooperated with Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand in the Joint Patrol Team; there have been 81 of these joint patrols as of April 2019. But paradoxically, although both Cambodia and Vietnam are at the end of the Mekong River, they are still not involved directly in this program. Here again regional cooperation needs a boost to truly combat the drug smuggling routes.