Ex-cop in Vietnam sentenced to 20 years for drug dealing

By Binh Nguyen   June 8, 2017 | 05:53 pm PT
The man was once responsible for fighting drug crimes in the central province of Nghe An.

A court in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday sentenced a Vietnamese former police officer to 20 years in prison for selling drugs.

Luu Duc Cuong, 39, was arrested last year after he was caught trying to sell methamphetamine and marijuana from a taxi on a street, according to media reports.

He claimed he had discovered the drugs in an abandoned plastic bag, but the court believed the drugs were his.


Luu Duc Cuong at the court. Photo by VnExpress/P.D.

Cuong once served in the police in the central province of Nghe An, responsible for fighting drug-related crimes.

In 2001, while he was still in the force, he was caught possessing and using narcotics, a crime that led to his first 24-month jail term.

Between 2004 and 2011, he received another two prison sentences for drug convictions.

At the court on Thursday, Cuong asked the panel of judges to give him a reduced sentence so that he could return to his family sooner.

His wife is serving a 20-year prison sentence for drug dealing in an unrelated case, leaving the couple's 2-year-old son with the grandparents.

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.

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