Vietnamese police have arrested the leader of a ring smuggling drugs from Laos into Vietnam after busting the largest drug haul ever in Ho Chi Minh City, officers said on Friday.
The criminal leader Phan Huu Hieu, 48, was captured on Wednesday along with six drug trading suspects in the city, following a collaboration between the municipal police and officers from the Ministry of Public Security, the general customs department and border police.
The arrests were made during raids on seven locations in several districts of Ho Chi Minh City.
Police confiscated 179 bricks of heroin, which is the greatest quantity of drugs ever found in the southern metropolis, an official was quoted by news website VnExpress as saying.
Hieu has been known to ask the other six suspects, all having previously been convicted of drug-rated crimes, to transport drugs from Laos to Vietnam.
Police said the criminal network involves people who are friends, come from the same hometown, and are highly experienced in dodging law enforcement.
A Vietnamese law states that anyone caught with over 600 grams of heroin is subject to the capital punishment.