How are illegal possession of drugs dealt with in Vietnam?

Illegal possession of drugs is a prohibited practice in Vietnam. So how is this behavior going to be handled?

How are illegal possession of drugs dealt with in Vietnam? (Illustration)

1. Illegal possession of narcotic substances may carry a penalty of up to life imprisonment in Vietnam.

Persons who commit illegal possession of narcotic substances in Vietnam may be examined for penal liability for illegal possession of narcotic substances as prescribed in Article 249 of the Criminal Code 2015 (amended and supplemented in 2017), in particular:

Frame 1:

- Any person who stores narcotic substances for purposes other than trading, transporting, or manufacturing narcotic substances in any of the following cases shall face a penalty of 01 - 05 years' imprisonment:

+ They have been administratively sanctioned for the acts specified in this Article or have been sentenced for this crime or one of the crimes specified in Articles 248, 250, 251 and 252 of this Code, not yet entitled to criminal record remission but still commit it;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 01 g to under 500 g of opium poppy resin, cannabis resin, or coca glue;

+ From 0.1 grams to less than 05 grams;

+ Or other parts of trees containing narcotic substances prescribed by the Government of Vietnam with a mass of between 01 kilogram and under 10 kilograms;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 05 kg to under 50 kg of dried opium poppy fruits;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 01 kg to under 10 kg of fresh opium poppy fruits;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 01 g to under 20 g of other solid narcotic substances;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 10 ml under 100 ml of other liquid narcotic substances;

+ There are 02 or more narcotic substances the total mass or volume of which is equivalent to the mass or volume of the narcotic substance specified at one of Points from b to h of this Clause.

Frame 2:

Committing the crime in one of the following circumstances in Vietnam, the offenders shall be sentenced to between 05 and 10 years of imprisonment:

+ Organized

+ The offence has been committed more than once;

+ The offence involves abuse of the offender's position or power;

+ Abusing the names of agencies and organizations in Vietnam;

+ Use of persons under 16 years of age in Vietnam in the commission of crimes;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 500 g to under 01 kg of poppy resin, cannabis resin, or coca glue;

+ Heroine, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Amphetamine, MDMA or XLR-11 weighing between 05 grams and under 30 grams;

+ Coke leaves; thirsty leaves (Catha edulis leaves); leaves, roots, stems, branches, flowers, fruits of cannabis plants or other parts of plants containing narcotic substances prescribed by the Government of Vietnam with a mass of between 10 kilograms and under 25 kilograms;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 50 kg to under 200 kg of dried opium poppy fruits;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 10 kg to under 50 kg of fresh opium poppy fruits;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 20 g to under 100 g of other solid narcotic substances;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 100 ml under 250 ml of other liquid narcotic substances;

+ There are 02 or more narcotic substances the total mass or volume of which is equivalent to the mass or volume of the narcotic substance specified at one of Points e through m of this Clause;

+ Dangerous recidivism in Vietnam.

Frame 3:

Committing the crime in one of the following circumstances in Vietnam, the offenders shall be sentenced to between 10 and 15 years of imprisonment:

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 01 kg to under 05 kg of opium poppy resin, cannabis resin, or coca glue;

+ Heroine, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Amphetamine, MDMA or XLR-11 with a mass of 30 grams to less than 100 grams;

+ Coke leaves; thirsty leaves (Catha edulis leaves); leaves, roots, stems, branches, flowers, fruits of cannabis plants or other parts of plants containing narcotic substances prescribed by the Government of Vietnam with a mass of between 25 kg and under 75 kg;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 200 kg to under 600 kg of dried opium poppy fruits;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 50 kg to under 150 kg of fresh opium poppy fruits;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 100 g to under 300 g of other solid narcotic substances;

+ The offence involves a quantity of from 250 ml under 750 ml of other liquid narcotic substances;

+ There are 02 or more narcotic substances the total mass or volume of which is equivalent to the mass or volume of the narcotic substance specified at one of Points from a to g of this Clause.

Frame 4:

Committing the crime in one of the following circumstances, the offenders shall be sentenced to between 15 and 20 years of imprisonment or life imprisonment in Vietnam:

+ The offence involves a quantity of ≥ 05 kg of poppy resin, cannabis resin, or coca glue;

+ Heroine, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Amphetamine, MDMA or XLR-11 weighing 100 grams or more;

+ Coke leaves; thirsty leaves (Catha edulis leaves); leaves, roots, stems, branches, flowers, fruits of cannabis plants or other parts of plants containing narcotic substances specified by the Government of Vietnam with a mass of 75 kg or more;

+ The offence involves a quantity of ≥ 600 kg of dried opium poppy fruits;

+ The offence involves a quantity of ≥ 150 kg of fresh opium poppy fruits;

+ The offence involves a quantity of ≥ 300 g of other solid narcotic substances;

+ The offence involves a quantity of ≥ 750 ml of other liquid narcotic substances;

+ There are 02 or more narcotic substances the total mass or volume of which is equivalent to the mass or volume of the narcotic substance specified at one of Points from a to g of this Clause.

The offender might also be liable to a fine of from VND 5,000,000 to VND 500,000,000, be prohibited from holding certain positions or doing certain works for 01 - 05 years, or have all or part of his/her property confiscated.

Thus, depending on the nature and extent of the acts, persons who illegally store narcotic substances may be examined for penal liability up to life imprisonment in Vietnam.

2. Illegal possession of narcotic substances may be fined up to VND 10 million in Vietnam.

According to the provisions of Point a, Clause 2, Article 23 of Decree 144/2021/ND-CP, for illegal possession of narcotic substances which have not yet reached the level of being examined for penal liability, individuals may be fined up to VND 5 million, organizations may be fined up to VND 10 million in Vietnam.

Diem My

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