With their Vietnamese colleagues'co-operation, Australian police have busted a gang that trafficked several kilogrammes of recreational drugs including ecstasy from Viet Nam, arresting five men, a senior police officer said.
HCM CITY —
The suspects, all Australian nationals, were arrested on September 13 as they awaited the drug consignment shipped from Viet Nam, Colonel Le Thanh Liem, deputy chief of the Ministry of Public Security's Counter-Narcotics Department, said.
The arrested are David Francesco Martelli, 54; Nguyen Minh Hien, 50, an Australian of Vietnamese origin; Guido Parri and Shane Trout, 42; and Mark Cooper, 44.
Officers seized more than 10kg of benzylpiperazine (BZP), a recreational drug with euphoric, stimulant properties; more than a kilogramme of ecstasy; 880 grammes of MDPV, a psychotropic drug with stimulant properties; and equipment to process BZP and MDPV.
They were valued at hundreds of thousands of US dollars. Liem said Martelli and Hien entered Viet Nam early this year and stayed at a hotel in HCM City's District 11, establishing a ring to bring drugs from China through Lang Son and Ha Noi to HCM City before shipping them to Australia. On July 19 and 26, Hien received two parcels from Lang Son, and hid them along with two water tanks and a plastic can containing BZP in a garage in Bien Hoa City in Dong Nai Province.
He hired a transport company to do the procedures to export the "ceramic" goods to Australia by ship.
The container with the goods was shipped to Australia from HCM City's New Port on July 30 before Hien flew back to Australia.
According to a report by the Narcotics Department, the container arrived in South Australia State on September 12. Liem said his department was continuing to work with the Australian Federal Police on the case. —VNS