VIETNAM: 8 DRUG CONVICTS SENTENCED TO DEATH
January 19, 2015: A court in the northern province of Hoa Binh sentenced eight people to death and handed down life sentences to five others at the conclusion of a mass trial.
Of the convicts who got the death penalty, seven men and one woman were found guilty of being part of a ring that smuggled around 180 kilograms of heroin across Vietnam‚Äôs northern mountainous provinces.
Five other members of the ring were jailed to life in prison, while a further 17 defendants handed jail terms ranging between six to 20 years for different crimes such as drug trafficking, harboring criminals, offering, brokering and taking bribes, murder, illegal use of weapons and opposing officials on duty.
Because of the large number of smuggled heroin and the seriousness of the case, such harsh sentences were justified, according to the verdict, which was delivered at the conclusion of the 14-day trial.
Police busted the rings in June 2011 in Hoa Binh, making mass arrests and seizing large quantities of illegal drugs. They also confiscated four cars, four guns and 27 cell phones during the raid, local media reported. (Sources: Thanh Nien News, 20/01/2015)