A couple was caught in a drug bust in Iao Hon district on Tuesday, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokeswoman Lei Hon Nei said during a special press conference on Wednesday.
More than 90 grammes of methamphetamine (also known as ice), 23.17 grammes of ketamine and some ecstasy pills with a total estimated street value of MOP 410,000 were seized. PJ officers are still investigating the source of the drug and the buyers, Lei said.
The couple are both surnamed Nguyen: a 27-year-old jobless male overstayer and a 25-year-old non-resident female worker who told the police that she works as a masseuse. Lei said the male suspect came to work in Macao in July 2018, and his work permit expired in August last year.
According to Lei, the Judiciary Police received a tip-off recently that a Vietnamese man was involved in drug trafficking in Iao Hon district. The officers discovered that some residents had also reported similar cases to the police previously. The Judiciary Police immediately dispatched officers to conduct an in-depth investigation and identified the male suspect and where he lives.
According to Lei, PJ officers arrested Nguyen at about 4 pm on Tuesday near his home in Iao Hon district and seized five packets of ice weighing about 3.4 grammes from him. PJ officers later searched his home where they encountered the female suspect.
While searching the flat, the officers seized a quantity of drugs in plastic bags, on plates and in tea boxes on the flat’s balcony. The drugs comprise 74 packs of ice weighing 96.05 grammes, 35 packs of ketamine weighing 23.17 grammes and 78 ecstasy pills, as well as a large number of transparent plastic bags for packaging the drugs. In addition, two electronic scales, MOP 50,600 and HK$1,300 in suspected drug money were also seized, according to Lei.
Vietnamese compatriots among regular customers
Upon questioning, the male suspect admitted to taking and selling drugs. He said that he had sold drugs to regular customers of night entertainment venues and Vietnamese compatriots. Nguyen told the police that the drugs were provided by someone else, but he refused to reveal details of the deals to the police, according to Lei.
Lei said the female suspect started working in Macao in August last year. She told the police that she has been living with her boyfriend for three months but denied that she was involved in drug trafficking. However, PJ officers believe, according to Lei, that the pair were engaged in drug dealing for about six months. The duo were taken for a urine test and tested negative for drugs.
The couple were transferred to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) Wednesday morning, facing charges of trafficking in narcotics and psychotropic substances, while the male suspect also faces an illegal use of narcotic and psychotropic substances charge, according to Lei.
Lei underlined that the quick solving of the case this time relied on residents’ initiative to report their suspicions to the police so that PJ officers were able to take action in conjunction with their own intelligence. Lei said the case demonstrated the importance of police-civilian cooperation in effectively combating crime to keep the city safe.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macao News)
Photo by The Macau Post Daily/Iong Tat Choi