Vietnam police seized about 300 kilograms of methamphetamine following a raid on a mansion in Ho Chi Minh City, while Thai law enforcers announced the capture of drugs worth about THB800 million (US$25 million) in three recent anti-illegal drug operations in Thailand.
Vietnamese custom police and border guards raided a mansion behind a textile company in Ho Chi Minh on suspicion the luxurious home was being used as a hideout and warehouse by drug traffickers, according to local media reports.
The raid conducted March 20 led to the seizure of sacks of meth and the arrest of several suspects, mostly Chinese, including a 56-year-old Chinese national believed to be the drug ring leader. The prime suspect allegedly ran the meth ring under the guise of a textile export business that was supposedly registered under his Vietnamese girlfriend’s name.
According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security’s Drug Crime Investigation Department, the drug syndicate was smuggling meth from Laos into Vietnam before distributing it across the country.
Investigators said the textile company drew suspicion because over the five years of operations it had only 40 customs declaration forms for textile products.
The drug haul is said to be the largest ever in Ho Chi Minh City, and police believe it is part of a large-scale operation extending across central Vietnam involving several provinces.
The public security ministry is working with local police in different provinces and cities to expand the investigation, the reports said.
Meanwhile, Thai police on March 21 announced they confiscated drugs worth over $25 million in three recent raids.
At a press conference in Bangkok, the police said four suspects were arrested and one other was killed during the raids, reported VNA.
In the first case, which took place on March 16, three men were arrested and charged with possessing illicit drugs for sale. One of them was killed in a gunfight with police in Thailand’s northern Chiang Rai province. Police found 8 million methamphetamine pills, three trucks, and a pistol.
In the second case, police and customs officials arrested a 47-year-old man at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport and seized over 1,500 grams of cocaine.
The last bust saw a Thai man, 28, arrested on March 19 with more than 2,000 grams of crystal methamphetamine found in his luggage at the same airport.