Vietnam sentences ex prison guard to death for drug, gun smuggling

By Le Quang, Thanh Nien News

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Some of the 15 defendants stand trial in Ho Chi Minh City on May 5 for trafficking drugs and weapons. PHOTO: LE QUANG
An appeals court in Ho Chi Minh City increased the sentence of a former prison guard from life to death on Monday for his role in smuggling drugs and weapons from Cambodia to Vietnam.
The Supreme People’s Court upheld sentences against Nguyen Tan Duy's 14 accomplices, including three death penalties and three life terms. Eight others were sentenced to between three and twenty years in prison.
According to the indictment, Duy, 42, resigned as a guard at the Xuyen Moc Prison in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau in 1994.
He later helped Le Hoang Hoi, 60, who was serving a 15-year sentence for robbery, escape from his former workplace.
Together they fled to Cambodia, where Duy became acquainted with Nguyen Van Binh, 43, and two Cambodian nationals from whom he bought drugs for sale.
In 2005, Duy, Hoi, and Binh collaborated with 10 others to smuggle drugs from Cambodia to HCMC for sale.
The former guard and his accomplices also conspired with Vu Manh Hung and Nguyen Hoang Tuan to bring three pistols, ammunition magazines and bullets into Vietnam for use and sale.
HCMC police busted the ring when they caught one of its members selling drugs at a local park in July 2007.
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 methamphetamine face the death penalty.

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