A worrying rise in drug crime was recorded in 2013 with a growth in the number of cases, arrested suspects and seized drug hauls, Deputy Minister of Public Security Senior Lieutenant General Le Quy Vuong reported on January 10.

At a teleconference in Hanoi organised by the National Committee for HIV/AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention and Control, he added complicated developments were seen in the trafficking of drugs and drug precursors from other countries into Vietnam last year.

Statistics show that there were 181,396 drug addicts in 2013, up 9,396 people from 2012.

Authorised agencies detected and investigated 21,188 drug cases, detained 32,332 criminals and seized 940kg of heroin, 117kg of opium and 323,772 synthetic pills, Vuong said.

The committee reported that in the first 11 months of 2013, there were 11,567 new HIV carriers and 5,493 AIDS patients while 2,097 people died of AIDS.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is also the head of the committee, ordered relevant agencies to intensify investigations and crack down on organised crime and trans-national drug trafficking rings.

He also underlined the importance of supporting addicts in their recovery while enhancing international cooperation and educating people on drug and prostitution prevention and control.-VNA