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Vietnam condemns five drug smugglers to death

Last Updated: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 13:53

Hanoi: Vietnam has sentenced five men to
death for smuggling heroin into the country from Cambodia,
state media reported on Saturday.

The men, aged between 30 and 40, were condemned by a Ho
Chi Minh City court after they were found guilty of
trafficking a total of seven kilograms of the drug between
2001 and 2010, Communist Party daily Nhan Dan said.

Three other men were sentenced to life, while a further
six people received jail terms of between seven and 20 years,
after a three-day trial which ended yesterday.

Communist Vietnam`s drug laws are among the world`s
harshest. Anyone found guilty of possessing more than 600
grams of heroin, or more than 20 kilograms of opium, faces the
death penalty.

Executions were carried out by firing squad until July
this year, when the country announced it would instead use
lethal injection.

At least 69 people were sentenced to death in Vietnam in
2011, including 27 for drug smuggling, according to a news agency
tally compiled from figures in state media.

There are no government statistics, but the official press
has reported five executions since the beginning of the year.

Heroin is the most commonly used illicit drug in the
country of about 86 million people, the United Nations has
said. Government figures issued last year showed the country
had about 150,000 drug addicts.


First Published: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 13:53
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