|Drugs in the “cover” of chocolate brought from abroad to Vietnam were seized by Hanoi Customs in coordination with competent forces (June 2022). Photo: Ngọc Linh
Impregnating a solution containing narcotics into cigarettes
In September 2022, Hanoi police destroyed and detained six subjects because of illegal drug trafficking, including Nguyen Khoa Diem, Duong Van Truong, Ha Quang Chinh, Le Xuan Huy, Nguyen The Ngoc and Ha Quang Hoang.
Nguyen Khoa Diem, confessed to buying drugs from a young man using a Zalo account Minh Quan (residing in Ho Chi Minh City).
Through verification by the police, the person who is using Zalo account named “Minh Quan” has the identity of Le Duc Thinh (was born in 1994, registered for permanent residence in Nghia Hanh district, Quang Ngai) and arrested the related subjects participating in the production, transportation and sale of illegal drugs, including Tran Cong Danh, Vo Van My, Pham Quang Trung, and Nguyen Ngoc Khanh, all of whom have permanent residence in Nghia Hanh district, Quang Ngai province, and operate in Ho Chi Minh City from the beginning of 2022.
The total amount of exhibits confiscated included: 40.1 kg of herbs containing narcotics type ADB – BUTINACA; 11 kg of drug-containing powder of type ADB – BUTINACA; 250 Pod e-cigarette tubes containing ADB – BUTINACA; 40 litres of liquid containing narcotics type ADB – BUTINACA.
In addition, the competent forces also seized 76 paper sacks containing dried green herbs used for drug production with a total weight of up to 547.2kg.
In this case, the subjects hid drugs (“American weed”) under cover of herbs or disguised by impregnating a solution containing the drug substance ADB-BUTINACA into the herb and then packing it into cigarettes or pumped into POD e-cigarettes.
In this case, the subjects linked to creating criminal groups in many different locations through social networks. The main form of drug trading is through the goods transportation system in the form of public goods transport
Drugs “hidden” in supplementary foods
In addition, in the world and Vietnam, there are two types of drugs “hiding” in foods: supplementary foods containing narcotic substances; drugs are mixed and packaged by the subjects in the form of foods and drinks.
According to Major General Nguyen Van Vien, Director of C04, some countries do not ban and allow the production of supplementary foods containing narcotics (manufactured, packaged and licensed by state agencies) with concentrations labeled on the product packaging and have a warning to the user.
In the past, the competent forces discovered that the subjects took advantage of supplementary foods and smuggled to Vietnam abroad to spread and use, leading to poisoning. Typically, the case in Ha Long (Quang Ninh) was seized at the end of 2021. The subject brought candies from a supermarket in the United States for family members to use, but they did not realize that they contained narcotics. On the other hand, the candy contained small amounts of narcotics. Therefore, users can be mistaken this type of item for a dangerous overdose.
In addition, drugs are mixed and packaged in the form of foods and drinks. This is a sophisticated trick of criminals to bypass the authorities to transport and trade smoothly. The reason is that it is a drug mixed with foods and drinks.
“For example, the sale of cannabis on the internet that occurred in Hanoi was promptly detected and removed by the authorities in December 2019; the case of a group of students in Hoanh Bo district, Quang Ninh using candy containing narcotics and being poisoned. They were given first aid by emergency service in October 2021; the sale of mango juice containing narcotics in Ho Chi Minh City in October 2020; the sale of chocolate containing narcotics in Dong Anh, Hanoi, in June 2022. The transporter who stores and sells awarded that it was a drug, but when he was arrested, he often tried to hide and deny the crime”, the representative of C04 said.
To prevent this type of crime, a representative of C04 said that it was necessary to implement many synchronous solutions in the future. First of all, it needed to strengthen dissemination in many forms, especially through the mass media, about the state’s policies and laws, the harmful effects of drugs, the methods and tricks of drug activities of drug offenders, how to identify drugs, and foods and beverages that criminals easily mix.
In addition, the Drug-related Crime Investigation Police force continues to coordinate with competent agencies such as Customs and Market Survellience to strengthen inspection, detection and handling of illegal goods that are of unknown origin and imported into Vietnam to prevent harm to the community.