Vietnam court upholds decision to kill young woman for importing drugs

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The Vietnam People's Supreme Court in Ho Chi Minh City remained steadfast in its decision to kill a 30-year-old woman convicted for trafficking 3.5 kilograms of heroin at an appeal trial Thursday.

Judges turned down Le Thi Thu Thao's appeal in which she argued that the crime was organized by her boyfriend, Tran Ngoc Thinh. The court said she did not have enough evidence to substantiate the claim. Thinh received a life sentence at the first trial in April and did not file an appeal.

The court also upheld a life sentence for Pham Thi Hien, a 49-year-old woman who was allegedly Thao's supplier in Cambodia, and a 20-year jail sentence on Nguyen Thi Ngoc Le, Hien's sister-in-law also living in Cambodia, who is charged with being an accomplice in the crime.

Investigations found that Thao and Thinh have been running drugs from Cambodia to Vietnam since 2010.

Their customers are local bars and dance clubs.


Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. Those convicted of smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of meth can face the death penalty.

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