Border ​guards at the Cau Treo International Border Gate check imported goods in the central province of Ha Tinh. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Despite positive steps in anti-drug efforts, drug smuggling has continued seemingly unabated, especially in border areas.

Anti-drug police and border guards in the Vietnam-Laos border areas said in the past, they used to seize only a few hundred drug pills or grams of heroin in each case. But recently, the police said they had detected and seized large volumes of drugs brought through Laos and transported to third countries, including Vietnam.

The Vietnam-Laos border is becoming a hot spot and the main route to transport drugs.

From the beginning of the year, more than 20 cases of drug transportation, storage or trade on this border were handled by anti-drug forces, Hai Quan (Customs) newspaper reported on April 18.

The latest case of drug trafficking was detected last week. Border guards in Tay Trang International Border Gate along with border guards in northern mountain province of Dien Bien arrested a 33-year-old while he was carrying 500g of heroin and 200 synthetic drug pills.

Last week, anti-drug police and customs officers in the northern province of Bac Ninh also arrested a man carrying nine bricks of heroin weighing about 3.42kg.

At the police station, Kha A Cha, 43, the arrested man, said he received the drugs from an unknown man in northern Hoa Binh province to transport to Quang Ninh province for sale.

He could get 5 million VND (220 USD) for transporting each brick of heroin, he told the police.

On April 4, border guards in the central province of Ha Tinh working with Laos police arrested three Lao citizens transporting 97 bricks of heroin.

When questioned, they confessed that they worked in the drug trade for over ten years. They mainly bought heroin in the ‘golden triangle’ of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand and then transported it to Vientiane for sale.

Each time, they carried at least 97 bricks of heroin, sometimes up to 300 bricks, they said.

Border guards at Vietnam-Laos route said dozens of bricks of heroin were transported from the border through northern mountain province of Son La’s Moc Chau district each day.

Police said drugs bought in the ‘golden triangle’ would be stored in Laos’s Houaphanh province and then transported to Vietnam through towns in Moc Chau district and Hoa Binh province’s Mai Chau district.

According to the Customs Department in the central Ha Tinh province, the drugs transported from Laos to Vietnam are mainly heroin and synthetic drugs in large quantities.

The subjects involved in drug trafficking are mostly Lao and they associate with some local people living near the border. They often carry weapons to fight police.

The anti-drug forces’ efforts have increased and seizures have increased, but the supply available for import has also increased.

The problem for enforcement officials is not only stopping smuggling but working with the countries where the drugs come from.

No one knows for sure how many Vietnamese use illegal drugs or are involved in their sale, but indications are that drug use is increasing, border guards say.-VNA