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A box of blowers is used to hide drugs. Photo: provided by Quang Tri Customs
A box of blowers is used to hide drugs. Photo: provided by Quang Tri Customs

A suspicious box of blowers

The latest bust of eight packages of heroin hidden in a box of blowers passing through Lao Bao international border gate (Lao Bao town, Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri province) was chaired by Quang Tri Customs Department in coordination with other authorities.

A representative of Quang Tri Customs Department said implementing plans against drug crimes issued by the department, Lao Bao Border Gate Customs Branch detected suspicious signs of drug crimes from Laos to Vietnam through the management area.

The branch has reported to leaders at all levels to propose the establishment of a Special Investigation Board with the number CB227 to fight activities of illegal trading, hoarding and transportation of narcotics by passengers on buses from Laos to Vietnam at Lao Bao international border gate.

On the morning of August 1, 2022, at the customs checkpoint for vehicles on entry at Lao Bao international border gate, Lao Bao border gate customs branch inspected a bus with Laos plate 4429, driven by Mr. T.C.M (residing in Thua Thien Hue) and the luggage on the bus.

Through inspection by the HI-SCAN baggage scanner system and other specialized equipment, the Customs Branch discovered drugs hidden in a box of blowers used for cars consigned to Ho Chi Minh City.

Determining that the bus is in the special project, Lao Bao border gate customs branch and Quang Tri Customs Department reported to the Director of the General Department of Customs on the plan.

Faced the particularly serious nature of the case, the Director General of the General Department of Customs Nguyen Van Can requested the Quang Tri Customs Department to preside over and coordinate with the police and the Border Guard to carry out the task with the highest goal of arresting the mastermind, leader, related suspects and exhibits.

Following the request of the Director General of the General Department of Customs, Quang Tri Customs arranged officers to closely monitor and trace this transnational drug crime ring.

On the afternoon of August 2, at house 2/17 Hong Ha Street (Ward 2, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City), when the box was transported to Ho Chi Minh City and delivered to the receiver, Quang Tri Customs in coordination with the police arrested Ngo Quoc Hung (born in 1995, residing in Ngoc Long village, Yen My commune, Hung Yen province) while he was receiving the box of blowers containing eight packages of heroin.

Continuing to conduct an emergency search, the authorities discovered another suspect named Nguyen Hoang Tung (residing in Tay Ho district, Hanoi) in room 203 of the house 2/17 mentioned above and 2kg suspected to be methamphetamine.

Transnational drug ring from Germany to Vietnam

The situation of drug crime in the customs area is increasingly complicated, especially the concealment of drugs in goods and means of transport to pass through the border gate (air, road and sea). This trick was soon discovered and dismantled by the customs.

Typically by air is the fact that Hanoi Customs and the Investigation Police Department on Drug-related Crimes (C04, Ministry of Public Security) busted transportation of 50kg of drugs from Germany to Vietnam in September in May 2022 (Special Project 522Q).

Sharing about the project, a representative of the authorities said that through the investigation, the authorities discovered a ring of illegal trading and transportation of narcotics from Germany to Vietnam for consumption, led by Vietnamese people residing in European countries. The tricks of the suspects are taking advantage of goods transportation from logistics enterprises to transport drugs by air or post into Vietnam.

Implementing the plan to bust the case, on May 13, 2022 in Da Nang, the competent authorities caught Tran Viet Tuyen, 17 years old in Quang Binh, receiving a package containing 3kg of synthetic drugs.

Expanding the investigation, the competent authorities arrested Tran Thanh Quan, 29 years old in Quang Binh. Searching Quan's place, the authorities seized 500 synthetic drugs; one gun with rubber bullets and 50 bullets, and many related documents.

In Quang Binh, the police force executed an emergency restraining order for Nguyen Viet Hong Dung, 26 years old. Dung is the mastermind, leader and operator of the ring. Notably, Dung was arrested while flying from Germany to Vietnam to operate the delivery, distribution and consumption of drugs.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the authorities caught four suspects in the act: To Thanh Tu, 25 years old; Phung Nhat Duy, 28 years old, Nguyen Hoang Minh Tuan, 29 years old and Nguyen Liao Hung Tran, 28 years old living together in Ho Chi Minh City, seized packages containing 25kg of synthetic drugs; and conducted an emergency search of the places of the suspects and seized another 3kg of synthetic drugs.

Expanding the case, on May 27, 2022, C04 caught Tran Nguyen Quynh, 26 years old, in An Giang carrying two packages containing 16kg of synthetic drugs. In addition, the police force arrested Nguyen Van Hai (also known as Quan) 30 years old, in Nam Dinh and seized 80 packages of drinks, 500 ecstasy pills and 100 grams of ketamine.

On May 30, 2022, two other suspects were arrested including Nguyen Duy Phuong, 33 years old in Dong Thap, carrying a package containing 1.9kg of synthetic drugs, and Nguyen Tuan Chuong, 24 years old in Ho Chi Minh City in charge of watching over the delivery of drugs for Phuong. Searching Phuong's place, the police seized 200 synthetic drugs, 41 bullets, and one electronic scale.

By June 2022, the Special Investigation Board had arrested 11 suspects in the drug trafficking ring from Germany to Vietnam, and seized more than 50kg of synthetic drugs of all kinds.

By Thai Binh/ Huyen Trang

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