Vietnamese police arrested two men on Sunday as they were trying to smuggle over 7,000 ecstasy pills and 17 kilograms of metaphetamine over the border from Cambodia.
The suspects, identified as Vietnamese nationals Pham Van Thuan, 24, and Nguyen Tung Anh, 17, were caught with the drugs strapped to their legs.
The two said they were hired by a Cambodian man to carry the drugs from Cambodia’s Svay Rieng Province to Tay Ninh Province in Vietnam.
The two Vietnamese suspects with the drugs strapped to their legs. Photo by VnExpress/Mai Linh
Acting on a tip-off from Vietnamese border authorities, more than 20 police officers raided a guesthouse near Bavet City and found 17kg of methaphetamine along with the suspects’ identity cards the same day, The Cambodia Daily reported.
A third suspect, also a Vietnamese national, was apprehended about 500 meters from the guesthouse, after the owner informed authorities that one of the guests had fled the building.
Colonel Le Hong Vuong, head of the Tay Ninh Border Guard Force, said he had asked the Cambodian police to assist with further investigations.
Vietnam and Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding on cross-border drug crime enforcement in Phnom Penh late last month after Cambodian anti-drug officials visited Hanoi to ask for money to fund a drug rehabilitation center in Sihanoukville, the daily said.
Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine face the death penalty.
The production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is also punishable by death.
Although the laws are strictly enforced with capital punishment handed down regularly, drug smugglers continue to operate regularly in border areas.