Sat, Jun 03, 2017 - Page 6 News List

Vietnam detains 15 over mobile ecstasy production

AFP, HANOI

Vietnamese police have smashed a multimillion-dollar drug ring that pumped out ecstasy pills from mobile labs, police and state media said yesterday, in what could be the country’s largest-ever narcotics bust.

Fifteen people were arrested, including alleged ringleader Van Kinh Duong, who used live video or social media to monitor his labs as they moved house-to-house to evade authorities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The labs churned out ecstasy and other synthetic drugs, Ho Chi Minh City’s official newspaper, Cong An Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh City, reported yesterday.

Photographs showed bins full of white powder, cooking flasks and scales, along with suitcases stuffed with ecstasy pill packets.

“The pills were transported from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi in suitcases of 5,000 pills weighing 50kg,” it said.

Police confiscated more than 500,000 ecstasy pills, 120kg of unidentified powder — together worth an estimated US$8.8 million — and US$450,000 in cash at the bust in Ho Chi Minh City, the report added.

Since early last year, the network had produced about 300kg of narcotics, the report said.

A police officer in Ho Chi Minh City, who requested anonymity, told reporters that the sting followed a year-long surveillance operation.

The bust is believed to be the “biggest ever” in communist Vietnam, the officer added.

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