A court in Hanoi sentenced three Vietnamese and a Thai woman to death on Monday for drug trafficking.
Investigation found Nguyen Thi Thuy Trang, 53, from Ho Chi Minh City, learned about the illegal trade in late 2011 and started hiring several people to help her transport drugs across regional borders.
Police in Hanoi, Quang Ninh Province and HCMC busted the ring in October 2012, seizing 24 kilograms of heroin and more than two kilograms of methamphetamine.
They arrested Trang and three of her smugglers Le Xuan Phu, Phan Thi Lien, and Pornpirom Upapong from Thailand, local media reported.
The members told police Trang was the mastermind and hired them to transport drugs across regional countries including China, Cambodia, Nigeria, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Police said the gang also hired some Africans who used money to lure poor Vietnamese women, who had little knowledge about drug laws, into the illegal business.
They are still looking for these suspects.
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.