Exposing trick of injecting essential oils of narcotic plant into electronic cigarettes

VCN - Through the investigation, the Drug-related crime investigation Police Department (C04, Ministry of Public Security) discovered many advertisements and offers for sale of e-cigarettes and cigarettes containing drugs on the social network.

5,000 packs of smuggled cigarettes seized at Noi Bai International Airport 5,000 packs of smuggled cigarettes seized at Noi Bai International Airport
Over 11.7 million foreign cigarettes suspected of infringing intellectual property rights Over 11.7 million foreign cigarettes suspected of infringing intellectual property rights
Ho Chi Minh City: dealing with many e-cigarette trading points Ho Chi Minh City: dealing with many e-cigarette trading points
Smuggling of granulated sugar and cigarettes take place complicately in targeting routes and areas Smuggling of granulated sugar and cigarettes take place complicately in targeting routes and areas
The suspect Le Anh Tho. Photo: C04
The suspect Le Anh Tho. Photo: C04

Ordering raw materials from abroad for production

On November 23, C04 reported that the trend of using e-cigarettes has flourished in recent years, especially among young people, as a way to show their class, sophistication, and trendiness.

To increase the excited stated and avoid detection by authorities, the seller mixed, marinated, and injected essential oils of narcotic plant into these cigarettes. For profit, the seller uses all tricks, even "poisoning" the young generation. These drugs directly affect the nervous system, causing memory loss, dementia, and brain atrophy if the user use drugs for long time.

Determining the dangers of drugs disguised as e-cigarettes and cigarettes and the scale and complexity of the criminal ring, the C04 has established a specialized project 123T.

Conducting a further investigation, the C04 determined the mastermind as Le Anh Tho, 28 years old, residing in Hoang Mai, Hanoi.

Tho searched online for the recipe, then through social networks, he contacted people abroad to order synthetic marijuana, flavored essential oils, chemicals, electronic cigarette equipment, and tobacco pipes to warehouse in Hanoi through shipping companies.

Then, he prepared and marinated by injecting essential oils narcotic plant into the electronic cigarette butts and tobacco cigarettes, then assembled with machines to create electronic cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes containing narcotics.

“For each type, Tho prepares three different flavors. After marinating drugs, he labeled Ampire chill e-cigarettes and Dominix cigarettes," C04 said.

All e-cigarette packaging and labels are made and exclusively ordered by Tho, including a warranty and return policy for defective products. To avoid detection by the authorities, the crimes frequently changed warehouses.

Exhibits related to the case. Photo: C04.
Exhibits related to the case. Photo: C04.

Using social networks for advertising and sales

"After producing finished cigarettes, Tho directed his associates to post advertisements and livestreams on social networks saying that these products contain stimulants but drugs in order to deceive users," the representative of C04 said.

The crimes mainly choose buyers in large quantities for wholesale and build selling prices based on quantity, the more you buy, the cheaper the price and vice versa. They create their own groups and regularly filter people into the group, delete the group if being detected or create account and a new account and new group.

Identifying that the shipment of cigarettes contains drugs, on September 14, 2023, the C04 presided over and coordinated with other units to arrest four men red-handed: Do Duy Lung, Le Anh Duc, Hoang Van Quy, Phung Quoc Viet while they were mixing and using syringes to inject essential oils containing narcotics into "Ampire chill" e-cigarettes at a warehouse in Phuong Nhi commune, Thanh Tri district, Hanoi.

At the site, the police confiscated more than 3,500 finished cigarettes that were injected with essential oils containing narcotics; five plastic cans containing 84 liters of narcotic solution; one pump of essential oil mixed with synthetic drugs; nearly 300 cartons containing equipment to assemble into more than 10,000 electronic cigarettes, one million cigarette packs, and many solvents, chemicals, raw materials, components, accessories, boxes, and labels for producing and packing electronic cigarettes.

In addition, the authorities also confiscated nearly 15,000 electronic cigarettes containing flavored essential oils that Le Anh Tho smuggled from abroad to Vietnam.

At the same time, a C04 working group arrested and searched Le Anh Tho's residence, confiscating many machines, chemicals, finished e-cigarettes, wrappers of rolling cigarette brands and electronic cigarettes.

To date, the C04 has prosecuted the case and detained six defendants for illegal drug trafficking.

The successful fight against the above case and the seizure of a large amount of narcotics contributed to protecting the young generation from the danger of drugs.

By Thai Binh/ Huyen Trang

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