A former police officer was caught using narcotics with a group of friends in the northern Vietnamese province of Thai Binh early this week, local police said Friday.
Nguyen The Anh, a retired policeman, was among six people caught red-handed illegally doing drugs inside an apartment in Thai Binh Province’s namesake capital city on Monday, provincial police said.
Anh, 33, was head of the criminal police squad of Quynh Phu District in Thai Binh before he recently withdrew from the police force, citing family reasons, a leader of his former police division told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
The group of six friends, aged 23-48, were caught using narcotics when officers raided their apartment in Thai Binh City at around 4:30 pm on Monday, after receiving a tip-off from their neighbors.
An investigation is under way to find evidence of a criminal violation in the case, provincial police said.
All forms of recreational narcotics are banned in Vietnam, which enforces strict penalties - including life imprisonment and the death sentence - for drug-related crimes, according to the country’s Penal Code.
However, using narcotics is not considered a criminal violation in the country and those caught doing drugs are often let off after paying an administrative fine or forced to go to a rehabilitation center.
Those found guilty of organizing the use of narcotics, or coercing or persuading others into using narcotics are punishable by up to life imprisonment, according to the Penal Code of Vietnam.