Vietnam gets tough on illicit drugs in 1998
HANOI - Vietnam sentenced 49
people to death and arrested 18,000 last year on
drug-related crimes as the country wrestles with a rising
drug problem, local media reported on Wednesday.
``The number of detections was 35 percent higher than
1997, while those subject to litigation increased by
142.2 percent,'' the official Vietnam News said.
The number arrested included 21 foreign nationals, the
daily newspaper said.
Truong Huu Quoc, head of the Police Ministry's drug
control department, said 1,135 kg (2,503 lb) of opium,
60,000 opium doses, 56.57 kg (125 lb) of heroin and
103,000 doses of other unnamed narcotics were
seized, the newspaper reported.
A ``dose'' in Vietnam is normally seen as a small
amount sufficient for a single hit of an illegal drug.
In addition, some 398 kg (878 lb) of cannabis had been
Vietnam has been identified by international anti-drug
agencies as an increasingly important post on the heroin
trafficking route from the infamous Golden Triangle
region centred on Myanmar, Laos and parts of
southwestern China and northern Thailand.
Quoc was quoted as saying Vietnam had around
80,000 heavily addicted drug users, of which 70
percent were young and at least 1,500 were secondary
In October, Le Kha Phieu, who heads the ruling
communist party, warned that unidentified hostile forces
were exploiting the country's growing drug problem in a
bid to sabotage the nation.
Reuters - January 06, 1999.