Minister of Public Security To Lam at the question-and-answer session on June 4 (Photo: VNA)

 

Hanoi (VNA) - At a question-and-answer session on June 4 morning, National Assembly (NA) deputies asked why have illicit drugs poured into Vietnam since 2017 in huge volumes?

A series of questions about the fight against drugs were posed to Minister of Public Security To Lam at the NA question-and-answer session on June 4.

Three cases: two failed, one successful still in profit

Deputy Truong Thi Yen Linh from the southernmost province of Ca Mau asked if the huge volume was due to inefficiency in fighting drugs and what is the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Security?

Deputy Nguyen Van Hien from the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong also raised similar concerns and asked if the increase was due to a lack of strict penalties compared to other countries?

Other deputies Nguyen Thi Mai Hoa from Dong Thap province and Dang Thi My Huong from south central Ninh Thuan province also questioned Minister Lam about the same issue.

In response, Lam said drug crimes are international crimes and no country can deal with it alone.

He added that drug-related crimes have developed in Vietnam partly because the country lies close to the Golden Triangle - the world's second largest drug hub. Additionally, he said the drugs situation across the world is complicated, especially at a time when many countries have legalised drugs.

Another reason is that the number of drug addicts in the country is rising.

"Compared to some countries, the situation remains under control, but it is clear that the number of domestic addicts is increasing. It is a great challenge," he said.

According to the minister, drug users do not face criminal charges in line with the law. Therefore, authorities are working to amend regulations.

Another difficulty is favourable customs clearance procedures for goods and immigration in Vietnam to aid enterprises, which are taken advantage of by drug traffickers.

He said if two out of three shipments of drugs are seized, traffickers still earn profits.

Huge foreign supply

Lawmaker Nguyen Van Hien from Lam Dong province wondered if the increase was due to Vietnam’s use as a transit area by criminals.

Lam said “Though Vietnam has uncovered large drug trafficking cases the risk remains, and a stronger fight is required.”

The worrying issue is that the foreign supply is huge and yet to be slowed, which is unprecedented, given that drug prices are not high.

"If drugs are prevented abroad, their prices would be higher. Despite the fight, domestic prices have yet to vary. Foreign supply remains complicated,” he said.

Drug crimes are under control in border gates, but trails and long sea routes can be used by traffickers, he said, adding that the Ministry of Public Security is working with Laos to launch crackdown on crimes along border areas.

He revealed that the Ministry of Public Security plans to invite regional countries and international organisations to a meeting to discuss plans for the fight against drug crimes, and suggested improving management in specific fields to enhance efficiency.

NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said drug prevention is an arduous fight and the responsibility of not only the public security sector but also the entire political system and each household.

She recalled that a border guard was killed and two others injured a day before in the fight against drug crimes in the central province of Thanh Hoa which borders Laos.

“Over the past years, the public security sector and border guards have worked closely together to fight and discover drug cases. If they are not uncovered, drugs will greatly harm society, families and young generations,” she said.-VNA