A Lang Son court Tuesday awarded death sentences to nine men and life to two others for smuggling a total of 280kg of heroin from the northern province to China in 2013 and 2014.
Brothers Chu Dinh Tuyen, 39, and Chu Van Vien, 33, the gang’s kingpins, were among those to get capital punishment along with their seven henchmen aged 31-38.
Nong Thi Chang, 25, and Chu Duc Son, 38, were the two to get away with life sentences.
Officers from the Ministry of Public Security in 2014 caught two members, Le Xuan Viet and Nguyen Van Tam, with 15kg of heroin in Hoa Binh Province.
Subsequent investigations led to the arrest of the others. The gang confessed to smuggling a total of 280kg of heroin from northwestern provinces to China on 22 occasions, earning more than VND10 billion (US$456,000).
A total of 19 people were involved, including four other Vietnamese who are still at large, an unidentified Chinese who was arrested in China and a deceased Vietnamese.
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.
Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine also face the death penalty.