Oddly Enough

Police nab two cannabis growers in cemetery

The sun shines though the distinctive leaves of a marijuana plant during a drug raid in the remote northern Lebombo mountains of Swaziland, in this May 24, 2005 file picture. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

HANOI (Reuters) - Police have detained two custodians who were about to harvest their first crop of cannabis, a source of drugs like hashish and marijuana, from a cemetery in Vietnam’s capital, a state-run newspaper reported on Monday.

Police took in Nguyen Manh Hung, 44, who heads the caretaker team at the cemetery in Hanoi’s outer district of Hoang Mai, and Ho A Lau, 46, after the authorities found cannabis plants grown on a 25 square meter (82 square feet) patch, the Vietnam Labour Confederation-run Lao Dong newspaper said.

Lau, a tribal man from the northern mountainous province of Son La bordering Laos, testified he obtained the seeds in Son La for cultivation from early 2008 and that the harvest would soon start.

Vietnam has strict drug trafficking laws, including in some cases the death penalty, but it has long been used as a transit point for trade in heroin, hashish, opium, amphetamine pills and other illegal drugs.

Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Jerry Norton