A high ranking police officer in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam has publicly stated that the city has become a drug transit hub.
Major General Phan Anh Minh, the deputy director of HCMC Police said during a meeting on March 28 that the city has finally become a drug transit hub, VN Express reported. The statement was made following three major drug busts in the city within the last two weeks.
Ho Chin Minh city’s largest ever drug bust took place on March 20 when officers seized a pickup truck containing 661 pounds of methamphetamines. The drugs were set to be taken to Taiwan and seven suspects, including alleged ring leader Wu Heshan, 57, were arrested.
Two other seizures of drugs that took place in 2018 were also linked to the bust. Wu’s organization was also found to have transported methamphetamines to the Philippines.
Vietnamese customs and the Philippines police coordinated in a March 22 seizure of 270 kilograms of meth that Wu’s group had transported by sea to the Philippines.
The latest notable drug bust took place on March 29 when HCMC police arrested a Vietnamese driver and two Taiwanese men who were transporting heroin in a truck in the Hoc Mon District. One of the Taiwanese men was able to escape. The heroin found was produced in Myanmar.
Although the gang involved in the March 29 seizure, who are reportedly led by 31-year-old Chen Wei from Taiwan, had no ties with Wu’s gang, they did acquire drugs from the same source in the Golden Triangle. Chen’s gang had allegedly sent heroin earlier to Taiwan by hiding it in a shipment of tea bags.
Minh said the city’s logistics infrastructure turned it into a drug transit hub, as all three transport modes of land, sea and air are well connected to other parts of the region.
The minister of Public Security, To Lam, was also quoted as saying that the latest bust was just the tip of the iceberg.