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Anti-drug Enforcement Team - HCM City Customs: Destroying many large special cases

14:27 | 09/02/2017

VCN- With the development and implementation of many projects on anti-drugs in 2016, the Anti-drug Enforcement Team under the HCM City Customs dealt with many rings of illegal transportation of drugs.

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Drugs transported by air were seized by the Anti-drug Enforcement Team. Photo: T.H.

Mr. Huynh Nam, the Deputy Team leader in charge of the Anti-drug Enforcement Team said that in 2016, the situation of illegal transportation of drugs in the area of ​the HCM Customs Department was quite complicated. Tan Son Nhat International Airport was still one of the key areas with a high risk of transportation of drugs, especially heroin, cocaine and synthetic drugs.

International postal routes and express courier routes have been key areas in the import of pharmaceuticals containing narcotic and psychotropic substances as well as dried leaves with Cathinone and Cathine in the form of gifts; imported drugs from foreign countries to transit to the third country; and manufacture of drugs and illegal substances for non-commercial shipments to Australia.

Drugs have been transported through the territory mainly from Africa, Central Asia, South America and Canada by air in transit in Southeast Asia or the Middle East to Vietnam; especially cocaine originating from South America transported to Vietnam by air, sea and express courier to other countries.

In order to tackle the above problems, the Anti-drug Enforcement Team under the HCM City Customs has actively built many plans and applied professional measures to cooperate with relevant forces to destroy many rings of drug transportation and arrested perpetrators participating in these cases.

In 2016, the Anti-drug Enforcement Team made 12 plans which were approved by the HCM City Customs Department on the implementation of measures to investigate, verify and arrest perpetrators transporting illegal drugs. As a result, the Anti-drug Enforcement Team discovered and destroyed 16 drug smuggling cases, an increase of 13 cases compared to 2015. In particular, there were 2 illegal transportation cases of more than 3.2 kg of heroin and cocaine; 14 illegal transportation cases of dried leaves containing Cathine and Cathinone, weighing about 1,600 kg.

In addition, under the plan of the Anti-drug Enforcement Team, the Customs Branch of Tan Son Nhat international airport and the Customs Branch of Express Cargo checked and detected 10 cases of transportation of dried leaves containing Cathinone and Cathine, weighing about 1,252 kg.

According to the Anti-drug Enforcement Team, drugs in Vietnam shipped abroad originated from Laos, Cambodia, South America and Africa to mainly export to Australia, Taiwan and some countries in the ASEAN region. Drugs which are transported by air are mainly heroin, synthetic drugs (methamphetamine), cocaine and Khat leaves. Narcotic substances transported by sea are mainly heroin, cocaine and synthetic drugs (Pseudoepherine and Ephedrine).

For immigration passengers, perpetrators transporting drugs through Tan Son Nhat international airport used sophisticated tricks such as hiding drugs in bags, soles of shoes, food jars, pictures, soap or even swallowing drugs in order to avoid the test of scanners and police dogs. Specifically, the HCM City Customs Department discovered a series of cases of hiding drugs in soles of shoes. These perpetrators have changed modes and routes of transportation to deal with the inspections and control of functional forces.

For imported and exported shipments by air (mainly exported to Australia and Taiwan), perpetrators hid drugs in household items, sculptures and ceramics to transport abroad. They even used fake identity cards or hired other companies to transport goods through many stages to deceive Customs officers. Therefore, in the case where they are detected, they can easily erase their tracks.

In particular, the HCM City Customs Department has also discovered a new trick. Specifically, perpetrators hid drugs inside the imported statues of art, and imported laminated aluminum bags in cartons to deceive functional forces at the border. In 2016, many perpetrators took advantage of policies on gifts and donations to import Khat leaves from Africa to Vietnam but declared as tea leaves to export to the United States and Australia to disguise the origin of goods.

According to investigation and exchange of information on drugs, the number of Vietnamese citizens who participated in rings of international drug smuggling tended to increase compared to the same period in 2015.

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According to the Anti-drug Enforcement Team, the seizure of drugs in 2016 showed that perpetrators focused on transporting drugs and illegal narcotics abroad by air, sea, especially express mail (mainly narcotics to Australia) to evade Customs inspections. Also, African perpetrators took advantage of routes from South America to Vietnam through the Middle East (AbuDhabi, Dubai of the United Arab Emirates and Doha route of Qatar).

By Le Thu/ Hoang Anh