More than 100 police simultaneously raided 16 locations in Ho Chi Minh City to arrest 21 people suspected of involvement in an large-scale ecstasy production ring with supply from France.
On Friday, police said Tri, the mastermind of the ring, and 20 others are under investigation for “illegal production of narcotics,” and “illegal trading of narcotics.”
The investigation is being expanded and more details about the suspects have not yet been released.
Previously, police discovered clues about a cross-border ring producing and trading synthetic drugs. A special team was established and hundreds of officers were mobilized to monitor the ring’s operation day and night.
Investigators said at the end of 2021, Tri brokered a deal in which Vietnamese criminal gangs residing in France sold about 100 kg of ecstasy powder (MDMA) to Tri’s connections in Vietnam. The gangs residing in France used international express postal services for door-to-door delivery of the contraband to HCMC.
Tri and his accomplices mixed the ecstasy powder with chemicals and processed it into more than 230 kg of finished ecstasy tablets, about 450,000 pills, for consumption at many points in HCMC and some neighboring provinces.
Police said the criminals earned profits of tens of billions of dong (VND1 billion equivalent to $42,691).
On April 20, over 100 police officers simultaneously raided 16 locations in the city, including the residences of the suspects.
Police seized more than 16,000 ecstasy pills, hundreds of kilograms of chemicals (raw materials for producing ecstasy pills), machines and vehicles.
Police also raided a house in District 4, identified as Tri’s “headquarters” where he and his accomplices also allegedly produced ecstasy.
A member of the special police team said the investigation of the cross-border drug production ring “was very difficult” as Tri and his accomplices were effective at operating secretly. They frequently changed the location of drug preparation and packaging, and only traded with trusted partners.
So far, police have seized more than 18,000 synthetic drug pills, 900 grams of ketamine, 120 packets of “fun drink,” a new type of drug mixed from many synthetic drugs such as ecstasy and ketamine, and 21 packages containing colorless crystals and tablets.
In Vietnam, the production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is punishable by death.
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