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Vietnam, Laos seize 5.5 metric tons of drugs in largest-ever raid

Sunday, July 26, 2015, 11:31 GMT+7
Vietnam, Laos seize 5.5 metric tons of drugs in largest-ever raid
Over 5.5 metric tons of drugs have been confiscated by a border soldiers unit in the central Vietnamese province of Ha Tinh and Laotian police.

A Vietnamese border soldiers unit and competent agencies in neighboring Laos have cracked down on the biggest drug trafficking cartel so far, led by a Thai national.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Vo Trong Hai, chief of the Border Soldiers unit in the central province of Ha Tinh, on Saturday confirmed that his unit and relevant agencies in Laos had seized over 5.5 metric tons of drugs from a ring in that country.

After learning of the cartel illegally stockpiling, transporting and trading in drugs in Paksane District, located in the Laotian province of Bolikhamsai, the Vietnamese unit immediately worked closely with Laotian police on a case file called 466Lv, he added. At 4:00 pm on Thursday, a joint task force raided a resident’s home in Paksane and apprehended 11 people along with 3.5 metric tons of drug precursors and two metric tons of dried marijuana.

“This is the largest seizure that the Ha Tinh border soldiers unit and Laotian police have jointly made so far,” Senior Lieutenant Colonel Hai stressed.

During investigation, Lamphunxilaxa, a 47-year-old Thai national, pleaded guilty to heading the ring.

After stockpiling drugs in Paksane, the group sneaked loads into neighboring countries, including Vietnam.

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 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.

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