Drugs drifting at sea mainly cocaine


Major General Nguyen Ngoc Quang: Photo: C04
Major General Nguyen Ngoc Quang: Photo: C04

What is your assessment of current situation of drug crimes at sea?

Vietnam stretches over 3,260 km of coastline with 44 deep-water ports, convenient for import and export and the country’s economic development.

However, criminals also take advantage of the sea route for drug trafficking.

In recent years, the Drug Crime Investigation Police Department has requested local police to coordinate with the Border Guard, Customs, and Coast Guard to investigate, discover, and seize many drug trafficking cases on sea route.

Recently, due to pressure from drug crimes in the world and region, criminals have taken advantage of Vietnam’s sea routes to illegally transport drugs through Vietnam to third countries for consumption.

In the first months of 2024, on the beaches of the Central and Southern provinces, people and authorities continuously discovered large amounts of drugs drifting on the coast (mainly cocaine).

In fact, the process of fighting drug crimes shows that cocaine is not consumed in the Southeast Asian market. The traffickers take advantage of the sea route to transport drugs through Vietnam for consumption in other countries.

Could you analyze the characteristics of drugs drifting at sea?

As mentioned above, the drugs drifting at sea are mainly cocaine packed into packages, weighing 1 kg, different from drugs traded in Southeast Asia and other countries in the region.

Through a number of seizures, these drug packages were packed and attached with and positioning devices, proving that the drugs are released on the sea and will be picked up for consumption. This is a new method and trick of criminals.

Currently, traffickers transport drugs by road and gather in Vietnam, especially overseas businesses involving foreigners, gather drugs into warehouses, then package, hide and mix them with exported goods (plastic granules, animal feed, scrap…) to bring them to major seaports for transport to other countries.

It can be said that the drug crime situation on the sea route is complicated. The leader of the Ministry of Public Security has directed C04 and local police to actively take synchronous professional measures and coordinate with specialized drug prevention and combat authorities of the Border Guard, Customs, and Police to fight and prevent drug traffickers on the sea route.

What are the specific difficulties and pressures of fighting drug crimes at sea?

Our country’s sea routes are very wide. On the sea route, there are many ships and boats from other countries passing through, in addition to fishing boats of people and traffickers mix and hide drugs in boats.

The new trick is to use boats and disguise fishing boats to monitor and supervise competent authorities to alert drug traffickers to avoid areas where competent forces are conducting patrols.

On the other hand, we are promoting the import and export of goods, with a very large amount of goods passing through the border gate, traffickers are taking advantage of this to mix drugs into imported and exported goods for transportation. This is an objective condition, but causes difficulties for the authorities.

In addition, vehicles serving the fight against drug crimes at sea and technical equipment are limited. The force to prevent and combat drug crimes on the sea route is still thin and does not have much experience in fighting drug crimes at sea.

However, under the direction of the Government and leaders of the Ministry of Public Security, C04 gradually coordinated with the authorities to fight and prevent drug criminals from taking advantage of sea routes for drug trafficking.

Faced with the above situation, what do you recommend the people?

In fact, in previous years there was a phenomenon of drugs drifting at sea and many people discovered them and handed them over to the authorities. However, there were also some people, due to lack of understanding and greed for profit, they arbitrarily hide them when they discover drugs. This is a particularly serious violation of criminal law.

Therefore, it is recommended that people should raise their sense of responsibility and comply with the law. When detecting suspected drugs drifting ashore, they should quickly report to the authorities (Police, Border Guard) and the nearest local authorities, and do not hide or buy or sell drugs. I would like to emphasize that this is a violation of criminal law.

C04 requests police at all levels to coordinate with local authorities to inform people to raise their sense of responsibility and vigilance against the actions of those who take advantage of drug trafficking.

Thank you.

In 2023, the authorities discovered 8 cases, arrested 7 suspects, and seized 303 kg of cocaine, 100g of heroin, and 180g of synthetic drugs.

Typically, on June 6, 2023, C04 coordinated with units under the General Department of Customs to inspect 5 containers at Nam Dinh Vu, Hai Phong city, seizing 303 kg of cocaine transported from South America, transited through Singapore to Hai Phong.

Source: C04


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