Hanoi drug trafficker sentenced to death

By Ngoc Truong   April 24, 2021 | 06:57 pm PT
A Da Nang court sentenced one man to death and a woman to life imprisonment on Saturday for storing and transporting five kilos of drugs.

The Da Nang People’s Court found Dang Thai Long, 45, guilty of storing and transporting narcotics and awarded him a death sentence. Bui Thi Thuy, 43, was given life imprisonment for illegally transporting narcotics.

According to the indictment, on September 17, 2019, Long and Thuy of Hanoi took a train to Da Nang in central Vietnam with a plan to transport drugs and sell them to local drug users.

Dang Thai Long (L) and Bui Thi Thuy at the court. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Truong,

Dang Thai Long (L) and Bui Thi Thuy at the Da Nang People's Court, April 24, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Truong,

Two days later, Long received a phone call from a man called Hieu (who is yet to be found), who hired him to go to Laos, collect drugs and take them to 36-year-old Nguyen Kim Thang in Hanoi for VND295 million ($12,830).

Long took a bus to Vientiane, where Hieu took him to a hotel and handed over 39 packages of methamphetamine (around four kg), three packages of around 3,000 ecstasy pills, and 170 pills of amphetamine.

Long divided the drugs and hid them in rice cookers that he bought and sent them to Vietnam by bus. He took a flight back to the country.

On the afternoon of September 23, 2019, he called Thuy and told her to go to a bus station on Da Nang’s Hoang Van Thai Street to receive the drugs. The woman was caught red-handed by local police officers.

In Hanoi, police discovered a large amount of drugs in Long’s house in Hoang Mai District.

He told the police that by hiding drugs in rice cookers, he had successfully transported drugs from Laos to Vietnam four times, earning VND700 million ($30,447).

Vietnam is a key trafficking hub for narcotics from the Golden Triangle, an intersection of China, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar and the world's second largest drug producing area after the Golden Crescent in South Asia.

The repeated seizure of huge amounts of narcotics has been happening despite Vietnam having some of the world's toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or cocaine or over 2.5 kg of methamphetamine could face capital punishment. Production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of any other illegal substance is also punishable by death.

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