Dried herb containing Cathinone - a strong narcotic (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Hanoi Customs Department and the Drug Crime Investigation Police Department announced on July 6 that they have smashed a drugs ring that sent illicit substances into or from Vietnam via international post.

First obtaining information on the ring in March this year, competent agencies busted the first shipment with 36 packages weighing 545kg declared to be dried tea or dried plants sent from Ethiopia to nine people on April 15. The Criminal Science Institute under the Ministry of Public Security found Cathinone – a strong narcotic - in the goods.

The Hanoi Customs Department coordinated with the drug crime investigation department to establish a specialised team in May to crack down on the case.

From May 23 to June 28, the specialised team discovered more batches of goods sent from Singapore to Vietnam or from Vietnam to the US, UK and Australia, all of which were found to contain Cathinone.

So far, a total of 199 packages weighing over 2.5 tonnes have been found containing the drug.

The senders and recipients of the packages include workers in the postal and tourism sectors as well as one Chinese and four unidentified black men who already left Vietnam.

A drug investigator said this is a large-scale nationwide ring, noting that the culprits live in other countries and they only hire Vietnamese to receive or send the drugs.

The Hanoi Customs Department has alerted counterparts in Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong city on the case. As a result, in mid-May, Ho Chi Minh City also seized five batches of goods with 1.2 tonnes of dried herbs containing narcotic substances.-VNA