Vietnamese man faces death over meth trafficking from Laos

By VnExpress   April 26, 2017 | 11:35 pm PT
The man and his gang were busted at Tan Son Nhat airport with several packages of drugs.

A Ho Chi Minh City court has sentenced a Vietnamese man to death for trafficking over 6 kilograms (13 lbs) of crystal methamphetamine from Laos into Vietnam, while another two men received life sentences for the same offense, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) daily reported.

The court on Wednesday found Van Trong Nguyen, 44, guilty of trafficking the drugs for distribution in Vietnam, along with two accomplices, Bao Huy and Ngo Trung Dung, who got the life sentences, the report said.

The trio were detained in May 2013 shortly after arriving at Tan Son Nhat International Airport from Laos as the customs and anti-drugs police found several packages of drugs in their luggage.

Nguyen later told investigators he was an addict and often bought drugs from a dealer in the city. He said he hatched the drug-trafficking scheme to cash in on growing demand.

Nguyen then asked Huy and Nguyen Thi Cam Tu, a drugs retailer, to work with him. In late April 2015 Nguyen, Huy and Dung flew to Laos where a man hired them to transport 6 kg of crystal meth back to Vietnam for $9,000. 

Nguyen divided the drug into three suitcases and flew back with the other two on May 3 when they were detained.

At the same trial, the court sentenced Tu to eight years in prison, the daily reported.

Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. The production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is punishable by death by lethal injection.

The country, which has documented some 210,000 addicts, is facing more complicated developments in the battle against drugs recently due to the appearance of new narcotics, such as crystal meth, while its rehabilitation facilities have been overloaded, Labor Minister Dao Ngoc Dung told the national legislature earlier this month.

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