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Vietnam busts drug trafficking ring, seizes 1.3 tons of ketamine

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Vietnamese law enforcement has busted a major drug trafficking ring and confiscated 1.3 tons of ketamine. Seven individuals have been charged in connection with the case.

The Drug-related Crimes Investigation Police Department (C04) on November 24 gave some details of their operation to discover the ring which transported ketamine from Vietnam to foreign destinations by sea.

The investigation began when Taiwanese authorities informed Vietnam of two Taiwanese individuals planning to enter Vietnam for drug trafficking activities using fishing vessels.

These individuals arrived in Vietnam in early September and went to great lengths to establish their operation, including booking hotels, renting cars, hiring interpreters, and leasing warehouses. They suspiciosly purchased 100 tons of cement, which they stored in a warehouse in Hong Bang District, Haiphong City.

Local authorities suspected that the cement was a front for a drug shipment worth millions of U.S. dollars. On September 22, C04 and local police carried out simultaneous arrests of those involved and conducted urgent searches of the warehouse.

During the operation, they discovered 30 sacks concealed within the cement, which all contained ketamine and had a total weight of 750 kilograms. Among those arrested were a 43-year-old Chinese national identified as Lieu Chi Hoai and five other individuals.

An expanded investigation led C04 and Ha Tinh police to arrest Pham Duy Khanh, a 35-year-old bus driver residing in Ha Tinh, on September 24. He had been hired to transport drugs from abroad to Vietnam.

A search of his vehicle found 22 sacks hidden in a fake gas tank and a passenger bed, identical to the 30 sacks seized in Haiphong. These 22 sacks contained 550 kilograms of ketamine.

According to the investigation, the individuals planned to conceal a total of 52 sacks containing 1.3 tons of ketamine within cement sacks and transport them to another country by sea.

C04 has filed charges against Lieu Chi Hoai and his six accomplices for illegal drug trafficking.

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