Two drug smugglers sentenced to death in HCMC

By Phan Anh, Phuong Son   July 22, 2020 | 07:30 pm PT
Two drug smugglers sentenced to death in HCMC
A suitcase containing ecstasy belonging to Nguyen Tien Vinh and Pham Van Tuan is seized by the police in HCMC in December 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Bao Ngoc.
The HCMC People’s Court on Wednesday sentenced two men to death for trafficking over 44 kg of ecstasy pills from Cambodia in 2018.

In December 2018 Vinh asked Tuan to accompany him from their native Hai Phong City to Cambodia. They flew to Ho Chi Minh City and traveled to Cambodia through the border in neighboring Long An Province.

It was on reaching Phnom Penh that Tuan learned they were there to traffic ecstasy, but he agreed to carry the drugs for money.

When the duo returned to HCMC on December 14 and were unloading their luggage at the Mien Dong Bus Station, they were arrested by the police. They had been planning to take a bus back to Hai Phong.

A search by officers of Tuan’s residence found another 60 g of narcotics.

Also on Wednesday, a man was caught in the northern Hung Yen Province with around 19 kg of heroin.

Do Tien Anh was in a car on National Highway 5B when he was stopped by the police at a toll station in Hung Yen’s Van Giang District.

Officers found heroin in the suitcase he carried. Anh claimed he had been hired by an unknown man to carry the drugs from Dien Bien Province on the border with Laos and China to Hung Yen.

The police are investigating.

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

The country has some of the harshest penalties for drug trafficking, including death for possessing or smuggling over 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kg of methamphetamine and for producing or selling 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics.

But it does not seem to have had a deterrent effect, with an increasing number of drug trafficking cases coming to light in recent years.

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