Drug ring gets life, death in northern Vietnam

By VnExpress   December 31, 2016 | 11:16 am GMT+7
Drug ring gets life, death in northern Vietnam
A scene of the court on December 30, 2016 in the northern province of Quang Ninh. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong

The ring was accused of smuggling around 1,871 kg of heroin in total.

A court in the northern province of Quang Ninh sentenced six drug traffickers to death on Friday and handed down jail terms ranging from two years to life imprisonment to 20 members of a ring caught smuggling nearly 1,871kg (4,124lbs) of heroin.

Drug kingpin Hoang Van Tien, 30, and his five henchmen face death, but six of his accomplices face life in prison; the rest received jail terms of up to 22 years.

Tien's ring is one of the five which smuggled drugs from Laos to Vietnam—where they were trafficked on to China.

Tuoi Tre reported that Tien bought drugs in the mountainous district of Moc Chau and started selling them in Hanoi and points north starting in February 2011.

Tien was arrested in December 2012, when he told police he and his men had moved more than 1,871kg of heroin and 35,200 tablets of methamphetamine.

Two years ago, a Quang Ninh court condemned 30 people to death and jailed 69 others for trafficking more than 12 tons of heroin in what was the country's largest-ever drugs trial — so big that it had to be held outdoors.

Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine face the death penalty.

The production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is also punishable by death.

Although the laws are strictly enforced, drug running continues in border areas.

Related news:

> Vietnam drug kingpin, 8 henchmen get death sentence for heroin smuggling

> Lao men chased down for smuggling 23kg of heroin into Vietnam