~ Le ViÍt Nam, aujourd'hui. ~
The Vietnam News

[Year 1997]
[Year 1998]
[Year 1999]
[Year 2000]
[Year 2001]

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 confiscated. 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 school pupils.
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.