28 January 2020 :
Authorities in Laos last week sentenced eight people to death for their roles in connection with the major Southeast Asian drug ring run by drug kingpin Xaysana Keopimpha, better known as Mr. X., Radio Free Asia reported on 27 January 2020.
Fourteen others connected with the ring were handed sentences ranging from two to 20 years.
A clerk at the Vientiane People’s Court confirmed the death sentences to RFA’s Lao Service on 27 January.
“They are sentenced to death. They can appeal their sentences if they file within the next 30 days. Additionally they can hire their own lawyers or consult the court for advice,” the clerk said.
The Lao Phatthana Daily identified the eight using singular names in a report published on 25 January.
The group includes five men, Kinoy, 36; Vat, 41; Konpasong, 43; Phetsakone, 24; and Maysengsone, 42; and three women; Pavina, 19; Vat’s wife Keo, 39; and Konpasong’s wife Manyvanh, 43.
They were convicted on charges of purchasing and selling heroin and meth, weapons trade, buying and selling stolen property, money laundering, and assault.
Sisouk Daoheuang, who is believed to have been Xaysana’s second-in-command, will be sentenced separately at a later date.
Xaysana himself was arrested with two accomplices in January 2017 in Bangkok Thailand. A Thai lower court initially sentenced him to death in 2018, but this was reduced to a life sentence because he confessed during the investigation.
RFA reported in December that Xaysana’s life sentence was upheld by a Thai appellate court.