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Vietnam sentences Laotian brothers to death, life term for drug trafficking

Friday, April 24, 2015, 15:54 GMT+7
Vietnam sentences Laotian brothers to death, life term for drug trafficking
The two Laotian brothers are seen at their trial in the central province of Nghe An on April 23, 2015.

A Vietnam court has given capital punishment and a life sentence to two Laotian brothers who illegally transported 10 bricks of heroin weighing 3.7kg from Laos to central Vietnam for sale. These Laotians, whose names are translated into Vietnamese as Xong Ba Tu and Xong Rua Co, were brought to trial by the People’s Court of the central province of Nghe An on Thursday on charges of illegally trading in narcotics, pursuant to Article 194 of the Penal Code. After much consideration, the jury sentenced Tu, 26, to death while giving a life jail term to Co, 29. According to the indictment, Tu and Co, who lived in the Laotian province of Polykhamsay, carried 10 bricks of heroin weighing about 3.7kg from Laos to an area near the Thanh Thuy border gate in Nghe An on a motorbike on June 27, 2014. One day later, they hid their bike in a forest nearby and then illegally crossed the border on foot via a track through the forest to enter Nghe An, bringing along the heroin with them. While they were on the way to deliver the drugs to two Vietnamese people under a previously agreed deal, a team of border guards stopped them for an examination. Tu and Co then used knives to attack the border guards to escape, but they failed.  The team then seized from them the 10 bricks of heroin valued at about US$50,000. Under Article 194 of the Vietnamese Penal Code, twenty years of imprisonment, life imprisonment or capital punishment can be given to those who are convicted of illegally stockpiling, transporting, trading in or appropriating heroin or cocaine weighing one hundred grams or more. The same penalties are also given to those who commit the crimes in one of the following circumstances: opium resin, marijuana resin or coca plasma weighing five kilograms or more; marijuana leaves, flowers, fruit or coca leaves weighing 75 kilograms or more; dried poppy fruit weighing 600 kilograms or more; fresh poppy fruit weighing 150 kilograms or more; other narcotic substances in solid form weighing 300 grams or more or in liquid form measuring 750 milliliters or more.

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