Gang of 4 sentenced to death in Vietnam for heroin smuggling

By Vi Vu   August 22, 2017 | 08:35 pm PT
Vietnam has eased its drug laws but smugglers still face capital punishment.

A court in Hanoi sentenced four men to death on Monday for smuggling more than 20 kilograms of heroin in less than a year, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The men, aged between 20 and 32 years, were arrested in April last year after two of them were caught driving a motorbike carrying eight kilograms of heroin.

The smugglers, from the central province of Khanh Hoa and the nearby Dak Lak, had flown to Hanoi before driving to the neighboring Hoa Binh Province to take delivery of the drugs from “strange masked men”, the indictment said.

Police discovered the group had successfully smuggled a total of 12 kilograms of heroin on nine different occasions from late 2015.

The scale of the operation remains unknown.

Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws, but those convicted of possession or appropriation will no longer face the death penalty following revisions to the Penal Code.

However, the production or smuggling of 100 grams of heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine still carries the death penalty, according to the amended law which will take effect in January 2018.

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