HCMC man gets death penalty for mail receipt of drugs from Germany

By Hai Duyen   January 6, 2024 | 12:00 am PT
HCMC man gets death penalty for mail receipt of drugs from Germany
Nguyen Liao Hung Tran at a court in HCMC, Jan. 5, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Duyen
A HCMC court sentenced local man Nguyen Liao Hung Tran, 30, to death for having 5.8 kg of drugs delivered to him from Germany by mail.

He was sentenced for transportation and illegal possession of drugs.

Tran was at home in District 4 on the afternoon of May 13, 2022, when a post office employee called him on the phone and said: "Is this Lan Anh? There are two boxes of goods sent to you from abroad. We’re going to deliver them to you in 30-45 minutes."

Tran replied he was Lan Anh’s husband, but regulations required him to prove his relationship with her.

So he went to the post office and furnished a copy of what he purported was his wife’s ID card and signed a form to receive the package.

While he was receiving the goods, police officers pounced on him and arrested him.

They opened the package and inside were two boxes with more than 5.8 kg of synthetic drugs packed in toothpaste and coffee packs.

Tran then told police he did not know who Lan Anh was, and claimed he only wanted to steal the package out of greed by impersonating Anh’s husband.

He claimed further that the mobile phone the delivery staff called him on was not his, and he had merely found it and kept it, and did not know there were drugs inside the package.

But soon he changed his tune and said he could identify Anh.

Eventually the police could not track down any information about the sender or Lan Anh. They could not retrieve a copy of Lan Anh's ID from Tran either.

At the trial the judges said: "The defendant’s testimony was inconsistent and the amount of drugs transported is particularly large, and therefore must be severely penalized as a deterrent."

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

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