Illicit stash torched to mark National Day Against Drugs

A massive quantity of drugs was burnt in Xaythany district, Vientiane yesterday to mark the 17th Anniversary of National Day Against Drugs.

Illicit drugs going up in smoke on the day included 50kg of amphetamines, 308 kg of dried cannabis, 5.9 kg of crystal methamphetamine (ya ice), 23 kg of caffeine, and 1.5 kg of precursor material to mix and produce drugs.

The ceremony was attended by Vientiane Mayor, Dr Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune, Head of the Vientiane Public Security Headquarters, Brigadier General Bouppha Siphomma, and other officials.

During the ceremony, Brigadier General Bouppha Siphomma reported that over the past year, police had solved 759 drug cases in the capital and arrested 1,062 people including 123 women. This figure included 12 foreigners including two women.

Police also seized more than 398,930 amphetamine tablets, over 381 kg of heroin, 11 bricks of cannabis, 199 kg of crystal methamphetamine (ice), and over 50 grams of precursor materials.

Police also seized eight guns, a bomb, and other items from drug dealers.

He said during the past year, authorities concentrated on awareness campaigns in Vientiane to make people understand the dangers of drugs and related laws while helping to prevent trafficking.

Last year, illicit drugs destroyed on the day included over 13.4 million amphetamine tablets, 2,382 kg of dried cannabis, 83.5 kg of morphine, 93.26 kg of crystal methamphetamine (ya ice), 259 kg of Rhodiarome, 4,312 kg of caffeine, 272 kg of chemical precursor and 12 boxes of an unidentified red powder.

The drug problem has been expanding in both cities and rural areas with some youngsters becoming users leading to negative social problems including robbery or even murder and other related issues, according to police.

The drug issue remains an obstacle to economic and educational development. Laos still encounters drugs as part of the country is located within the Golden Triangle region and is also affected by the illegal trade crossing the nation.

Drug rings in the country are notoriously difficult to penetrate but drug control police have been stepping up their attempts to crack down on dealers and make arrests.

During National Day Against Drugs is officially recognised on October 12 and many provinces around the country also organise drug-burning ceremonies to mark the day.

By Times Reporters
(Last update: October 11, 2018)