Border Soldiers Arrested Moving Meth in Vietnam

Two soldiers stationed along the border in Ratanakkiri province were arrested on Saturday morning after crossing into Vietnam with 1 kilogram of crystal methamphetamine, an official said on Sunday.

Provincial anti-drug police chief Leang Im said the pair of soldiers were arrested by Vietnamese border officials in Gia Lai province and were being held at a detention center along the border. He said his attempt to visit them on Sunday was unsuccessful.

“This afternoon I went into Vietnam and contacted the Vietnamese side. They said they couldn’t allow us to meet yet,” Mr. Im said. “We have to wait until they finish the investigation and they will inform us later.”

In a post to its Facebook page, the national anti-drug police department named the soldiers as Chab Samean, 28, and An Bunthy, 39, both residents of Banlung City.

In a separate case, a man who was attempting to traffic 16 kg of methamphetamine pills across the border to Thailand was arrested in Preah Vihear province on Saturday night when police stopped his car at a checkpoint to test drivers for illegal drugs, officials said.

Soun Chalna, head of the provincial police anti-drug bureau, said Kong Vich, 32, was caught with 145,440 meth pills in the trunk of his Toyota Camry when he was waved down by officers on National Road 62 in Tbeng Meanchey district at about 10:35 p.m.

The drugs originated from Laos, he said, and entered the country through a border crossing in Stung Treng province, destined for Thailand via Pailin province.

Mr. Chalna said the suspect was merely a drug mule and that a Thai national was likely in charge of the operation. He estimated the value of the pills to be about $0.50 each, meaning the pills in Mr. Vich’s trunk were worth about $73,000.

Provincial police chief Sy Kiri said the pills had been confiscated, along with the Toyota Camry and a samurai sword. He said the suspect would likely be sent to the provincial court today.

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