Vietnam sentences two to death in different drug cases

Thanh Nien News

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Tran Minh Dat, a Vietnamese Australian, was sentenced to death in Ho Chi Minh City on May 21 for attempting to bring 2.7 kilograms of heroin out of Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Tuoi Tre

Two  Ho Chi Minh City courts independently sentenced a disabled man and an Australian Vietnamese to death for drug trafficking on Wednesday.
Nguyen Van Vinh, 45, of Binh Phuoc Province started selling heroin early last year in connection with his son-in-law and a relative in the city despite only having one arm and a paralyzed leg.
Vinh received the death sentence for trafficking 1.5 kilograms of heroin. His relative Nguyen Huu Duc, 50, received a life sentence for seeking out customers, and his son-in-law Nguyen Quang Long, 29, faces 20 years for delivering the narcotics, news website VnExpress reported.
Vinh was a scrap dealer and his job required him to travel back and forth to Ho Chi Minh City for work.
His relative Nguyen Huu Duc, 50, suggested he look for heroin to sell to users in the city, so he contacted an acquaintance named Bay of the Meo ethnic group.
Vinh bought around one kilogram of heroin from Bay in early 2013 for VND430 million (US$20,000).
He divided the purchase into small parts, and asked his son-in-law Nguyen Quang Long, 29, to help sell the drugs to a local woman.
Duc was paid VND60 million for his role in the sale.
They made another delivery two days later but were caught by the police.
In another trial, Tran Minh Dat of Australia, was sentenced to death after being discovered with 2.7 kilograms of heroin in his luggage last February.
Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported that Dat claimed he was transporting the narcotics for a Vietnamese man in Australia, to pay off a debt of some $10,000.
Dat emigrated to Australia through fake marriage with an Australian citizen.
Vietnam’s Penal Code says those convicted of possessing/smuggling 100 grams of heroin or cocaine or 300 grams of other drugs face capital punishment, making the country among the toughest regarding drug laws.

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