|An offender in the drug trafficking ring from Europe to Vietnam arrested in February 2023 by Customs and Police forces.|
Why has drug crime spiked?
On April 27, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Doan Tat Nam, Deputy Head of Division 7, the Drug-related Crime Investigation Police Department, Ministry of Public Security said that drug crimes on the air route have been very complicated.
Drug criminals set up rings from abroad in Vietnam. The masterminds are all Vietnamese, living, studying and working abroad, then hooking up with people living in the country to transport drugs to Vietnam for consumption.
Notably, the amount of drugs seized on the air route in the first three months of 2023 is larger than seized five years ago. In particular, there are seizures of hundreds of kilograms, according to Senior Lieutenant Colonel Doan Tat Nam,
For example, at Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi), only in the first three months of the year, the Customs and Police forces handled 10 cases, with 21 suspects, and seized 592 kg of synthetic drugs.
Methods and tricks of drug criminals on the air route are very diverse and complicated. Suspects took advantage of tourism, buying and selling checked baggage at the airport, and abused logistics companies to transport drugs into Vietnam.
Regarding the reason for the complicated development of drug crime on the air route, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Doan Tat Nam said that due to pressure from world’s four drug production centers, especially Europe, is the drug production center of the world. With modern machinery, and advanced technology, the quality is pure, the price is cheap, and especially transportation from Europe to Vietnam by air is very convenient, so criminals take advantage of this route to transport drugs to Noi Bai airport (Hanoi) and Tan Son Nhat airport (Ho Chi Minh City).
Meanwhile, the demand for drugs in the country is still very large with more than 200,000 addicts and nearly 60,000 people illegally using drugs, which is also one of the reasons making the drug crime situation, including drugs via air, complicated.
Another reason is profit. In Europe, the price of synthetic drugs is very cheap, in Vietnam the price is 5 to 10 times higher.
Actively fighting drugs
Facing the above situation, following the direction of the Ministry of Public Security, the Drug-related Crime Investigation Police Department has worked with the Customs and Police of key localities, especially Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to hold meetings to discuss solutions to proactively prevent and fight against this crime.
Along with that, it is necessary to coordinate with international drug prevention and control agencies to prevent and combat drugs early from the place of origin, and actively collect documents and make plans to fight and capture the masterminds.
Regarding domestic coordination, the Drug-related Crime Investigation Police Agency continues to closely coordinate with other competent authorities, especially the Customs, to identify key routes, areas and suspects to set up plans, collect documents to arrest the masterminds and leaders abroad, obtain drug evidence to destroy financial source of crime. In particular, the police agency must arrest the entire ring, investigate and prove the crime, to avoid blaming the innocent.
The authorities found that drug crimes and drug crimes on air routes identified that the transportation stage is the weakest, easily exposed and easily detected, so they often do not participate in the transportation stage.
Senior Colonel Doan Tat Nam said that to prevent drug crimes on the air route, besides fight and seizure, the dissemination should be strengthened and solutions to reduce the domestic demand should be developed.
The leader of the Ministry of Public Security has assigned local units to deal with drug gatherings and destroy places of illegal use of narcotics; and perform the detoxification work to limit the addicts in society; and manage addicts to prevent re-addiction.
According to statistics from 2020 to March 2023, the Police and Customs handled many special cases of drug trafficking by air from European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, England, Belgium, France to Vietnam for consumption. As a result, the forces handled 276 cases and arrested 110 suspects.
The amount of seized goods includes 1,359 kg of synthetic drugs; 17,723 kg of ketamine; 29.24kg of heroin; 61 kg of methamphetamine; 13.73 kg of cocaine; 375.8 kg of cannabis; 11 kg of American grass; 1 gun, 150 bullets and many related documents.
Source: Drug-related Crime Investigation Police Department