Source: Vientiane Times
Police in Vientiane province found 3,398,000 amphetamine tablets and 25kg of crystal methamphetamine when they stopped and searched a pick-up truck being driven by two women.
The women were stopped at a checkpoint on a road in Namhee village, Meun district, and detained for questioning.
Officials named the driver as Ms Boutsadee, 50, from Thaokaen village in Kaenthao district, Xayaboury province, who confessed to owning 1,400,000 of the tablets.
Her passenger was identified as Ms Toukta, 46, from Wattay-noy village in Sikhottabong district, Vientiane, who was in possession of 1,998,000 tablets and 25kg of crystal meth.
Authorities are now conducting extensive enquiries to cast the net wider in search of the women’s accomplices.
The drug problem is growing in urban and rural areas of Laos, with some youngsters becoming habitual users, leading to social ills and crimes such as robbery and murder.
The General Police Department of the Ministry of Public Security has drawn up a list of almost 2,000 targets believed to be involved in drug trafficking.
More than 4,000 people have been arrested since the government introduced the National Agenda for the Resolution of the Drug Problem in August last year.
The National Agenda was endorsed to tackle the drug problem from 2021-2023, through a concerted effort to crack down on drug trafficking gangs.
To date, police have handled 3,407 drug-related cases in which 4,759 people were arrested, according to a source from the Public Security Media Department.
Drug busts have netted 5,896.84kg of amphetamine, 21.9kg of heroin, 1,566.9kg of crystal methamphetamine (ice), 900g of opium, and 179.30 kg of drug precursor chemicals.
Police have warned of the harmful effects of drugs, as well as the severe penalties meted out to those engaged in the drug trade.
The drug problem is an obstacle to development but is hard to suppress. The north of Laos falls within the notorious Golden Triangle region and is a corridor for the transit of narcotics.
The Prime Minister’s Office last year asked the Ministry of Public Security to include tougher penalties as part of the drug suppression agenda.
The government has classified the prevention and control of narcotic drugs as a ‘national agenda’ – a status that requires decisive action and the involvement of various sectors to step up the battle against the threat posed by narcotics.