Vietnamese police said drug seizures from air cargo mailed into the country had risen more in the first three months this year than in five years combined, online newspaper VnExpress reports.
Synthetic drugs are trafficked by air to Vietnam from such European producer countries as Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, Belgium, and France, with profit rates ranging from between five times and ten times, said the Ministry of Public Security’s Department of Drug Investigation Police Department.
Figures released by the police showed that nearly 600 kilograms of illicit synthetic drugs were confiscated from shipments intercepted at the airport’s cargo terminal in the first three months of this year, compared to the 1,300 kilograms of synthetic drugs, 17,000 kilograms of ketamine, 30 kilograms of heroin, 61 kilograms of methamphetamine discovered in the past five years.
The surge in cases showed that traffickers have resorted to smuggling illegal drugs into the country as air cargo and through logistics services, said the police, adding that drug traffickers are mostly Vietnamese living overseas.
Airborne smuggling has been in the public spotlight after a group of flight attendants from flag carrier Vietnam Airlines were arrested last month with 11.4 kilograms of drugs concealed in their luggage on a flight from France to Vietnam.
In Vietnam, drug trafficking carries a maximum death penalty for those convicted of smuggling over 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kg of methamphetamine. ■