Laos, Vietnam Remain Major Hubs of Drug Trafficking From Golden Triangle

Police examine drugs smuggled from Laos. Photo credit:

Police officials from Vietnam say Laos and Vietnam continue to be conducive places to smuggle drugs from the golden triangle for consuming and shipping to other countries.

Laos and Vietnam remain a convenient drug trafficking route for gangs due to their long border connection of 2,300 km with neighboring countries of Thailand, China and Myanmar, said an official on Wednesday at a drug prevention and control conference of Vietnamese and Lao police in Hanoi.

Deputy Minister of Public Security, Mr. Nguyen Duy Ngoc, stated in the conference that the traffickers utilized the policy to open borders to increase socio-economic development between Laos and Vietnam to actively run their operations.

He also informed that drugs from the Golden Triangle, the world’s second-largest drug-producing area in the South Asia, were transferred to Vietnam and Laos for consumption or transport to other markets.

Police from both nations informed that the common trick gangs use is to work very closely with one another with the head of the operations not in sight, even while paying the drug transporters.

The drug sellers communicate mainly via social media and refrain from using mobile phones. While moving the drugs, the gangs set their own communication rules and travel with ammunition like AK 47s, sniper rifles, and grenades.

Once they have the drugs on hand, they employ locals living in border areas to transport them via illegal and clandestine routes. They also conceal the drugs in cartons of agricultural produce like dried bamboo shoots and rice to avoid police detection.

A joint operation between Laos and Vietnam has discovered four routes that are frequently used for smuggling drugs from the Golden Triangle into Laos and then to Vietnam.

Police in both countries have created a map of some hotspots, including the borders that serve as a usual hub for drug trafficking.

The Minister of Public Security of Laos urged government bodies to double their efforts in tackling drug-related crimes at a press conference in October.

He also emphasized that stricter laws are necessary to prevent drug abuse, and that authorities should be well-equipped to detain those who contribute in drug production and distribution across the country.