Shall the carrier of the dried opium poppy fruits be subject to criminal prosecution?

Shall the carrier of the dried opium poppy fruits be subject to criminal prosecution?
Posted date: 02/02/2021

Recently, when my younger brother was on the way to transport 04 kg of dried opium poppy fruits, he was arrested by the police. However, my younger brother buys these fruits for the sake of soaking and drinking, not buying and selling this fruit. I want to know if transporting 04 kg of this fruit, shall my brother be criminally prosecuted? I sincerely thank you!

FDVN’s opinions:

Thank you for concerning FDVN legal services. Basing on your consulting requirements, after studying the legal documents, FDVN Law Firm offers the following advice:

[1]. Regulations of the law on illegal transportation of drugs

Pursuant to Article 250 of the Criminal Code 2015, amended in 2017 on the illegal transportation of narcotic substances as follows:

Article 250. Illegal transport of narcotic substances

1. Any person who transports narcotic substances for purposes other than manufacturing, trading or possessing narcotic substances in any of the following circumstances shall face a penalty of 02 - 07 years' imprisonment:

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

Besides, Section 3.6, Part II of Joint Circular No. 17/2007/TTLT-BCA-VKSNDTC-TANDTC-BTP has provisions as follows: A person who illegally possesses, transports or appropriates narcotics in the following quantity not for the purpose of trading or illegally producing other narcotics shall apply Clause 4, Article 8 of the Criminal Code 2015, whereby shall not be prosecuted for criminal liability but must be administratively handled as follows:

“….d) Dried opium poppy fruit weighs less than five kilograms”.

Therefore, in the event that your brother is arrested by the authorities while transporting the opium with a weight of 04 kg and not for the purpose of sale or production but to soak in alcohol, he is not prosecuted for criminal liability under Article 250 of the Criminal Code 2015.

[2]. Handling of administrative violations regarding acts of transporting 04 kg of the dried opium poppy fruits

Article 21 of Decree No. 167/2013/ND-CP provides the sanctioning of administrative violations in violation of regulations on drug prevention, fighting and control as follows:

“1. A caution or a fine of between VND 500,000 and 1,000,000 shall be imposed for illegally using narcotic drug;

2. A fine of between VND 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 shall be imposed for one of the acts as follows:

a) Storing, transporting or appropriating narcotic drug illegally;

b) Storing, transporting, trading or appropriating the precursor substance used in illegally producing narcotic drug;

c) Producing or trading tools used for narcotic drug in contradiction with regulations of law;

[…]

6. Additional sanctions:

Confiscating the exhibits and means used for administrative violation for the acts specified in Clause 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of this Article;”

Above is FDVN Law Firm's opinion for your request of a consultant based on studying the relevant legal provisions. Hopefully, FDVN's advice would be helpful to you.

Dinh Thi Thong - FDVN Law Firm


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