Vietnam cops seize $2.5 million heroin in China border drug bust

Above, Tran Van Bang, the alleged drug smuggler and ringleader, stands before heroin bricks seized from his group in the northern province of Cao Bang. (Vietnam News Agency via AFP)
Updated 26 February 2018

Vietnam cops seize $2.5 million heroin in China border drug bust

HANOI: Five men were arrested in Vietnam for allegedly attempting to smuggle $2.5 million worth of heroin into China after police shot at their drug-packed vehicle as they tried to flee, local media reported Monday.
The men were caught in northern Cao Bang province on the border with China with nearly 100 kilograms of heroin from Laos in their truck, state-run Thanh Nien newspaper reported.
Vietnam is a key trafficking hub for narcotics from the “Golden Triangle” covering Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, one of the world’s largest drug producing regions, and the latest bust is one of the largest in Vietnam in recent months.
The five Vietnamese men were arrested between Friday and Saturday as they tried to drive past police in the northern province, prompting “authorities to open fire,” Thanh Nien reported.
Photos on state media showed the alleged ringleader, 31-year-old Tran Van Bang, standing with a large pile of heroin bricks.
The bust follows a similar seizure last month in northern Vietnam, where police confiscated 170 kilograms of heroin worth $3 million also from Laos, reportedly the largest-ever drug haul in the one-party state.
Authoritarian Vietnam has some of the toughest drug laws in the world. Anyone caught with more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 20 kilograms of opium could face the death penalty.


Harvey Weinstein rape trial jury finalized — seven men, five women

Updated 43 min ago

Harvey Weinstein rape trial jury finalized — seven men, five women

  • Weinstein, 67, faces life in prison if convicted
  • The trial is expected to last up to eight weeks

NEW YORK: Lawyers in Harvey Weinstein’s rape and sexual assault trial agreed Friday on a jury of seven men and five women to decide the fate of the fallen film producer.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys settled on the 12 jurors after screening around 700 candidates in an exhaustive process that took almost two weeks.
Weinstein, 67, faces life in prison if convicted on predatory sexual assault charges related to two women in the high-profile trial seen as key to the #MeToo movement.
The trial is expected to last up to eight weeks, with opening arguments from the prosecution and the defense scheduled for Wednesday.
The jury will hear testimony from former production assistant Mimi Haleyi who says Weinstein forcibly performed a sex act on her in his New York apartment in July 2006.
The disgraced movie mogul is accused of raping another woman, whose identity is unknown.
“The Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra is expected to testify as a supporting witness. She says Weinstein raped her in the early 1990s.
More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct since claims against him ignited the #MeToo movement in October 2017.
But many of the alleged crimes fall outside the time frame for bringing charges.
The trial is expected to run until March 6.