2 foreigners charged with drug smuggling in Vietnam

TN News

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The People's Supreme Procuracy, Vietnam's highest office of prosecutors, ratified charges Monday against one Chinese and one Thai national for illegally transporting 2.78 kilograms of heroin.

If convicted, Chanda, a 29-year-old from Thailand, and Li Hui Zhen, a 27-year-old from China, could receive the death penalty. Under Vietnamese law, smuggling over 600 grams of heroin is punishable by death.

According to the indictment, Chanda and Li were caught exchanging a handbag containing the illegal drugs at a hotel in Hanoi's Hoan Kiem District on October 4 of last year.

They were allegedly working for an African person who lives in China.

Chanda was instructed to bring the drugs from Malaysia into Vietnam, and hand them over to Li, who would later carry the narcotics back to China.

Prosecutors said that Chanda and Li were paid US$1,300 and $398, respectively, for transporting the drug shipment.

In Vietnam, which has some of the world's toughest drug laws, death is also stipulated as a punishment for those convicted of smuggling more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine.

Those convicted of producing or selling 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics are also likely to face the death penalty.

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