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"Extraordinary tricks" to hide drugs of transnational organized crimes

11:03 | 31/12/2021

VCN - Hiding drugs in electric motors, furniture, machinery, electronic equipment, agricultural products, plastic beads, iron scrap, kid’s toys and food, are among the methods criminals use to bring drugs from abroad into Vietnam for consumption or transport to a third country.

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Drugs hidden in the stomach of a frozen pig with a locator device are seized by Customs and Police in May 2021.
Drugs hidden in the stomach of a frozen pig with a locator device are seized by Customs and Police in May 2021.


At a virtual conference to review performance in 2021 and set out tasks for 2022 of the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) on December 27, Director of the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department Nguyen Hung Anh said though the Covid-19 pandemic has broken out in many cities and provinces, drug-related crimes on key routes and areas have been increasing, causing many challenges and difficulties for the authorities.

In 2021, the drug-related crimes on the Northwestern route and the Central region have tended to decrease but have been more complex, especially on the border line adjacent to the Northern provinces of Laos.

Drugs are illegally transported from abroad into Vietnam for domestic consumption or transit to a third country for consumption.

Drug-related crimes are diversified with many sophisticated methods and tricks.

Drugs are hidden in many forms to evade the control of authorities at border gates.

Drug criminals take advantage of mountainous terrain, dense forests or trails and openings to illegally transport drugs; and frequently change forms and methods to hide drugs. They

are become more and more reckless, many lines and groups are equipped with weapons and are ready to fight the authorities when detected and arrested.

In the southern region, especially Ho Chi Minh City and the border with Cambodia have recorded complicated drug crimes and become "hot zones" for drug crimes.

Due to China's strict border control, Chinese and Taiwanese people seek to illegally enter Vietnam, connect with Vietnamese people to invest in businesses, warehouses, workshops, and apartments to operate and organize the illicit trade, transportation, and storage of drugs from the Golden Triangle area to Vietnam.

“The crimes have used many sophisticated methods and tricks, such as: hiding drugs in electric motors, furniture, machinery, electronic equipment, agricultural products, plastic beads, iron scrap, kid’s toys, food, and even in the stomachs of animals for transportation to a third country for consumption.

“Besides, with the strong development and popularity of social network sites, guidance on illegal production of narcotics also contains many potential risks, causing difficulties for drug control and prevention of the authorities,” said Director Nguyen Hung Anh.

On the air, post and express routes, high-technology drug crimes are becoming more and more complicated. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, passenger transportation is limited or strictly controlled; crimes have taken advantage of the express delivery service and non-commercial gifts via the air route from European countries to Vietnam.

The tricks to hide drugs through this route are also very sophisticated such as: hiding drugs in personal bags, medicine bottles, supplementary foods, candy boxes, dog and cat food, cosmetics, scented wax, household items, even swallowing drugs.

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Notably, in addition to the "traditional" routes mentioned above, through international cooperation channels, Vietnam Customs found cases of illegal transportation of drugs in large quantities across many countries by sea. The drugs were stored in Vietnam for a long time and exported to a third country. Thereby, it can be seen that the sea route has many potential dangers. In particular, some seizures showed that drugs were hidden in fake walls inside vehicles, containers and bulky shipments.

According to the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department, drugs that are mainly transported in the customs area include heroin, marijuana, ketamine and synthetic drugs.

By Thai Binh/ Huyen Trang