About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Heroin Addict Who Used His Blood-stained Syringe as a Weapon arrested in Vietnam

by Hannah Punitha on August 4, 2008 at 4:47 PM
Font : A-A+

Heroin Addict Who Used His Blood-stained Syringe as a Weapon arrested in Vietnam

Wearing black helmets and police T-shirts, their handguns levelled, a drug raid team inches along the outside of a compound, throws open the door, spots a man with a gun and opens fire.

With the pop-pop-pop of a Glock 9mm an armed suspect is shot and hits the floor as seven counter-narcotics officers fan out and clear the adjoining rooms, checking for any more armed and hostile drug runners.

Advertisement

The training operation over, the team leader had some stern words for his men.

"We must aim better and make every shot count so no one is injured unnecessarily and we go home safe to our families," he bellowed as some of the law enforcement officers stared at their boots.
Advertisement

As the men listened, a drug villain casually strolled out of the roofless plywood structure, pink paint splattered on his shirt.

The cops and the guns are real, but the raid and the bullets are not.

This Hanoi paintball op is part of a US-Vietnamese training exercise in which Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents pass on some of the skills of their dangerous trade to their local counterparts.

Besides the drug raid drill, the course includes handcuffing practice, arrest scenarios using an interactive gun-and-video screen system, and first aid training for bullet wounds.

More than 80 Vietnamese officers from counter narcotics units, Customs, army and police academies are joining the two-week courses with the US agents in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

A few decades ago, these men might have fired live rounds at each other, but today's training is part of a new, joint war against a common enemy -- the syndicates that traffic heroin and synthetic drugs through Vietnam.

"Vietnam is a transit country for drugs going into the international market," said Jeffrey Wanner, the DEA's Vietnam attache.

"It's based on their proximity to the Golden Triangle, to some of the major producers," he said, referring to the Thai-Lao-Myanmar border area that has long been a hotspot for opium poppy cultivation.

"Some (traffickers) use the Mekong River, some use mountain routes, some use the main highways. Then it's compiled again in a central location and brought into the local market or to the ports for international distribution."

Most heroin in Southeast Asia comes from within military-ruled Myanmar, where syndicates are also increasingly producing synthetic drugs including methamphetamines and MDMA or ecstasy, Wanner said.

"The amount of heroin they are producing is decreasing, but the amount of synthetic drugs is increasing dramatically. It's easier to do, the profits are a lot higher and there's a growing demand for that."

Vietnam's communist government has mostly eradicated large-scale opium cultivation and imposes harsh penalties for drug users and smugglers.

People caught with more than 600 grams (21 ounces) of heroin or 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of opium, its raw material, are usually sentenced to death by firing squad.

Nonetheless, Vietnam has become a major trafficking country, in part because of its porous borders with Laos and Cambodia to the west and China to the north, as well as its 3,200-kilometre (2,000-mile) coastline.

Vietnamese police Senior Captain Luu Duc Cuong, a course participant from Cao Bang province on the Chinese border, spoke of drug gangs who use sawn-off Chinese-made AK-47s assault rifles.

"It is easier to conceal and causes more severe injuries," he said.

Cuong hasn't come face-to-face with the drug gangs yet but wants to be ready when he does. His most dangerous operation so far, he told AFP, was the arrest of a heroin addict who used his blood-stained syringe as a weapon.

The threat was serious -- the UN Office for Drugs and Crime Control says heroin has been Vietnam's most popular illegal drug since the 1990s and intravenous drug use now causes two thirds of all known HIV infections.

Source: AFP
SPH
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Memory Loss - Can it be Recovered?
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cannabis Drug Abuse Screening Test Drug Abuse 

Recommended Reading
Alcohol abuse
Alcohol abuse...
Drug Abuse
The use of Drugs for reasons other than its prescribed recommendation, is known as Drug abuse or ......
Bubbles and Brews - Alcohol Facts
There is more to alcohol than mere intoxication. Infamous because of its social abuse but ......
Alcoholic Liver Disease
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general information about Alcoholic Liver Disease....
Cannabis
Cannabis has a long history of medicinal, recreational, and industrial use and comes from a bushy pl...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use