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Vietnamese inmate gets second death sentence for heroin trafficking

By Hai Binh   May 30, 2017 | 06:49 pm PT
Vietnamese inmate gets second death sentence for heroin trafficking
The alleged ringleader Phan Dinh Tuan was escorted by police on Tuesday. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Binh
He was found guilty of instructing four men to traffic more than 100 kilos of heroin. All have received death sentences.

A court in the central province of Nghe An on Tuesday sentenced five Vietnamese men to death for trafficking over 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of heroin.

The alleged ringleader Phan Dinh Tuan, 46, was already a death row inmate, convicted in 2015 also for heroin trafficking.

Investigators said he had still managed to run the ring from inside the prison.

He told the court that he managed to contact four of his men thanks to a mobile phone that his partner, Nguyen Thi Huong, smuggled into the prison for him during a visit.

He also accused Huong of being the real mastermind who benefited from the crime.

The court refused to consider his request for a fresh investigation, founding him and the other four men guilty. Their ages range from 28 to 53.

Huong was sentenced to 12 months in jail for failure to report the crime.

Tuan then told the court that a second death sentence did not trouble him, but he would appeal the ruling because he insisted he was not the ringleader.

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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