Hanoi, April 20 (CNA) Vietnamese police have arrested two Taiwanese nationals in connection with a 1,100-kilogram haul of narcotics seized recently in Ho Chi Minh City, the online newspaper Vnexpress reported on Saturday.
According to the report, the two Taiwanese, Yeh Ching-Wei and Chiang Wei-chih, were arrested when police checked three vehicles unloading goods with their engines still running on April 12.
Two of the vehicles fled the scene, but were later caught, the report said.
About 606 kilograms of narcotics, in 600 packages disguised as tea bags stuffed inside 60 large loudspeakers, were discovered in the vehicles, according to the report.
After the police expanded their investigation, they arrested a Vietnamese man and seized another 50 kilograms of narcotics inside five loudspeakers and yet another batch of illegal drugs, weighing nearly 452 kilograms, in 38 loudspeakers in Ho Chi Minh City, the report said.
These three batches of narcotics were shipped from Thailand, according to the report.
It quoted the police as saying that this was Yeh's first entry into Vietnam. Chiang, on the other hand, had been to Vietnam three times since 2018 via Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City, the busiest airport in the country, according to the police.
It said the two Taiwanese were abetted by a Chinese national.
In another case that happened on April 15, Vietnamese authorities arrested four suspects and seized more than 700kg of drugs packed into 600 packets and hidden inside 50 loudspeakers in central Vietnam's Nghe An province, according to local English language daily news outlet VietNam News.
The four suspects were led by a Taiwanese man, the report said, adding that the drugs were transported from Laos into Vietnam on a truck.
The police are now expanding their investigation to determine if the two cases are related and to track the illicit drug flow, Vnexpress reported.
According to VietNam News, the Southeast Asian country has become a key trafficking hub for narcotics around the Golden Triangle, the world's second-largest drug producing region where China, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar meet.
However, the news website pointed out, Vietnam also 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, it said.