Drug mule gets death penalty

A court in the north-central province of Ha Tinh sentenced a drug mule to death on Friday.

Vietnam, drug mule, Vietnam drugs, Vietnam narcotics

Tran Thanh Tri, 29, was found guilty of "illegally transporting narcotics."

Tri had been caught red-handed on March 27 this year with more than five kilograms of methamphetamine and thousands of ecstasy pills in the province’s Huong Son District.

Tri told the court he had been hired by a Laotian man -- whom the police have yet to identify -- to deliver the drugs, and got paid VND5 million ($215) for it.

Tri had gone to a location near the Cau Treo border with Laos in Huong Son to pick up the drugs.

He was to get the VND5 million after carrying the drugs to a bridge 17 km (10.5 miles) away and handing them over to a person.

Vietnam is a major transit hub for drugs trafficked from the Golden Triangle.

From Vietnam, the drugs are taken to Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and even Europe, Australia and Latin America.

On July 19 the HCMC police for the first time busted an operation to traffic drugs to South Korea.

Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or over 2.5 kilograms of meth face death.

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