Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Vietnam: Eight more face death for heroin trade

Hanoi (dpa) - In one of northern Vietnam's largest drug cases in years, a court on Tuesday sentenced to death eight people convicted of running a heroin ring, a drug enforcement official said.

The People's Court of Son La province, which borders Laos, found 31 people guilty of either transporting opium or producing heroin, said Le Minh Loan, head of the province's anti-narcotics' force.

In addition to the death sentences, 13 defendants were given life sentences. Nine others received lengthy prison terms, and one was sentenced to time served.

The ring was accused of producing 44 kilograms of heroin and trafficking 216 kilograms of heroin and 199 kilograms of opium in the period between 2000 and 2004.

Under Vietnamese law, trading more than 600 grams of heroin is punishable by death.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, Vietnam now has 160,226 drug addicts, more than 70% of which are between 18 and 35 years old.

No comments: