Eight sentenced to death for drug trafficking

By Uyen Trinh   October 7, 2019 | 06:15 am PT
Eight sentenced to death for drug trafficking
Vietnamese drug traffickers stand at a trial in Ho Chi Minh City on October 7, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Uyen Trinh.
The kingpin behind large-scale trafficking of drugs from Laos into Vietnam and seven of his accomplices were sentenced to death in Saigon Monday.

Phan Huu Hieu, nicknamed "Mouse" in the drug underworld, and his accomplices, six men and one woman aged between 38 and 65, were given death sentences for trafficking 132 kg of heroin and 55 kg of meth, considered the biggest heroin seizure in Ho Chi Minh City so far.

Another member of the gang was sentenced to life in prison.

The drug trafficking gang were arrested in July last year after police officers carried out a major crackdown on different locations in the city and the neighboring province of Binh Duong.

The ring transferred drugs from Laos into the central city of Da Nang before distributing them to other areas.

Saigon police have seized over 1.6 tons of drugs since the beginning of this year, more than 10 times the same period last year, Phung Van Dang, deputy head of the Saigon anti-drug police department, said at a meeting last week.

A Son La Province court Monday also handed out three capital punishments, two life terms and one 18-year sentence for trading in drugs.

Vietnam is a key trafficking hub for drugs in and around the "Golden Triangle," a lawless wedge of land that intersects China, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar and is the world's second largest drug producing region.

Drug busts and convictions have been increasing in Vietnam despite the country having very tough 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.

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