Police in Hanoi have arrested a man and a woman after finding synthetic drugs hidden in items inside a bag they said they “were keeping for other people,” Vietnamese media reported.
>> Vietnam sentences two to death for trading 38 kg heroin The man is Dam Van Thieu, 28, a Hanoi resident, and the woman is Bui Thi Kim Oanh, 30, hailing from the northern province of Hai Duong. They were arrested at 2:45 am on Saturday when a police team stopped a taxi in which the two people were seated and showing suspicious signs at the O Cho Dua crossroads in Dong Da District. The team discovered a red plastic bag that contained a green sticky rice cake, a broken digital camera and a bag of salt. On examining the cake, police found a bag of methamphetamine, weighing about 200 grams, hidden inside it. Police also detected 86 ecstasy tablets packed in a small package stashed in the bag of salt. In addition, a drug tablet was found inside the camera, police said. The total value of the drugs is nearly VND300 million (US$14,000), according to police. The two suspects were escorted to the Hang Bot Ward police office for questioning. In their initial testimonies, Thieu and Oanh said they were going out when a person asked them to hold a bag for that person. The two said they did not know why the person asked them to keep the bag. Police are investigating the case.
Under Article 194 of the Vietnamese Penal Code, twenty years of imprisonment, life imprisonment or capital punishment can be given to those who are convicted of illegally stockpiling, transporting, trading in or appropriating heroin or cocaine weighing one hundred grams or more.
The same penalties are also given to those who commit the crimes in one of the following circumstances: opium resin, marijuana resin or coca plasma weighing five kilograms or more; marijuana leaves, flowers, fruit or coca leaves weighing 75 kilograms or more; dried poppy fruit weighing 600 kilograms or more; fresh poppy fruit weighing 150 kilograms or more; other narcotic substances in solid form weighing 300 grams or more or in liquid form measuring 750 milliliters or more.