Police in Hanoi have arrested four suspects and seized more than 62kg of synthetic drugs, cracking down on a ring that smuggled drugs disguised as food and home appliances from European countries into Vietnam.
The kingpin, 27-year-old Hoang Tien Dung, hailing from northern Hung Yen Province, was arrested during a coordination between the police of Hanoi and their colleagues in Hung Yen from May 4 to 7.
To create a screen to hide his illegal drug smuggling, Dung set up an agency providing purified water and a night eatery in Hung Yen but used these facilities as the places to receive and deliver drugs, Hanoi police reported on Tuesday.
Also detained with Dung were his two accomplices, Tran Van Tuan, 19, and Dao Ngoc Long, 35, both from Hung Yen.
Tuan directly aided Dung in the illegal sale of smuggled drugs in Vietnam while Long acted as a middleman for Dung to deal with a suspect living abroad to buy drugs from European countries.
Earlier on March 23, Hanoi police in coordination with the city's customs department seized a package containing about 40kg of synthetic drugs sent from the Netherlands to Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport.
This parcel showed the recipient name as Hoang Tien Phat of Hanoi but police officers later determined the real consignee to be Hoang Tien Dung, according to VTC News.
An investigation was then launched and about a month later, Hanoi airport customs discovered a shipment sent in from Czechia in which drugs were hidden in 10 cartons of beers and one computer set.
The name of the consignee on papers of this shipment was Nguyen Chien Thang of Hanoi, but local police later determined Dung was likely the real recipient.
The investigation was expanded and a task force in Hung Yen arrested Dung’s wife, Le Thi Huyen, 25, on May 4, after seizing nearly 20kg of synthetic drugs stashed in empty beer cans and coffee machines in the province’s Van Giang District.
From Huyen’s testimonies and other evidence, police officers arrested Dung, Tuan, and Ngoc.
On searching Dung’s night eatery, police seized 0.13 grams of synthetic drugs and many tools for drug use.
All the ring members plead guilty of smuggling drugs from Europe into Vietnam, with a total of more than 62kg of synthetic drugs.