Drug-Smuggling Ring Uncovered by Vietnam

Vietnamese anti-narcotics police have uncovered a criminal ring that is suspected to have smuggled an estimated 350 kg of heroin into the country from Cambodia since 2002, according to Vietnamese state media.

Dozens of Vietnamese and Cam­bo­dian nationals implicated in the gang allegedly received drugs smug­­gled from Cambodia through Kampot province and into the south­ern Vietnamese province of Kien Giang, and then transported them to Ho Chi Minh City, the news­­­paper Vietnam News reported Friday.

The ring was cracked after Cam­bo­dian national Kong Hung was ar­rested late last month in Kien Giang’s Ha Tien town with five pack­ages of heroin, Vietnamese re­ports said.

The Vietnam News Agency said Kong Hung was a member of the ring, and said he has admitted to transporting 194 packages of heroin across the border this year.

“According to a preliminary po­lice investigation, the ring transported and distributed over 1,000 packages of heroin over the last three years,” the Vietnam News re­ported.

In a separate case, Im Chhuon, im­migration police chief for Kam­pot, said on Sunday that Viet­nam­ese border police seized more than 11,000 amphetamine pills earlier this month and arrested a Kampot prov­ince man named Tes Sam, 37, who is from Kompong Trach district.

Im Chhuon alleged that Tes Sam had been taking the drugs over the border by motorbike.

Graham Shaw, technical officer for the World Health Organization, said that heroin, smuggled through a variety of routes to the West, is al­so increasingly being trafficked to a ballooning addict population within Cambodia and the rest of the region.

“The transit of heroin through Cambodia has certainly appeared to be on the increase over the past three years,” he said. “And over the last six to 12 months, heroin use has gone up markedly in the country, especially in Phnom Penh.”


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