Laotian man caught in Vietnam with 300 kg of meth gets death sentence

By Hoang Tao   August 28, 2019 | 06:53 pm PT
Laotian man caught in Vietnam with 300 kg of meth gets death sentence
Laotian man Xeng Vang (R) stands trial in Quang Binh Province, August 28, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quang Ha.
A 24-year-old Laotian man who had been caught last October with 300 kilograms of methamphetamine in central Vietnam was sentenced to death Wednesday.

Xeng Vang was found guilty of illegal trafficking of narcotic substances by a court in the central province of Quang Binh.

Vang told the police he had become acquainted with Vietnamese Hang A Chinh, 24, in mid-2018, and he had hired him to deliver the meth to Da Nang, the biggest city in central Vietnam, for a payment of $10,000.

"Chinh promised me once I get to Da Nang, he will buy me a plane ticket to Laos. He also told me that if I got caught it would be everyone for themselves and I should not inform the police about him, otherwise my family will be in danger."

He knew his action was illegal, but did it to take care of wife and children, he claimed.

On October 12, 2018, he drove a truck on National Highway 1A toward Da Nang together with Chinh. At 1 p.m. they were stopped by the traffic police in Quang Binh for speeding.

They tried to bribe the police, but since it did not work they fled into a nearby forest. The police searched their vehicle and found 308.6 kilograms (680 pounds) of meth hidden inside tea bags.

After almost a day on the run, Vang was arrested while Chinh remains at large.

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

In Vietnam, those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or cocaine or more than 2.5 kg of methamphetamine face death.

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