Court upholds life sentence against Filipino drug trafficker

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A court in Ho Chi Minh City Tuesday turned down an appeal, maintaining a life sentence against a Filipino for transporting drugs.


John Lopez Diemsen, 49, was sentenced to life in a trial held in Tay Ninh Province last October.


The People's Supreme Court also upheld a 20 years jail term against 33-year-old Raquel Malayano Ramos, another Filipino, on the same charge.


According to the indictment, Diemsen introduced Ramos to a person named Elsa, who later hired Ramos to bring drugs from Cambodia into Vietnam. 


Ramos brought more than a kilogram of heroin into Vietnam on Diemsen's orders, and was to be paid US$30,000.


The duo was arrested during the transaction at a bus station in Tay Ninh in August 2009 .


The police recovered 842.2 grams of heroin from them.


Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. Those who smuggle more than 600 grams of heroin into the country can be sentenced to death.


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