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Mother of raped, murdered college student jailed for trading drugs in northern Vietnam

Thursday, November 28, 2019, 17:00 GMT+7
Mother of raped, murdered college student jailed for trading drugs in northern Vietnam
Tran Thi Hien stands her trial at the People’s Court in the northern Vietnamese province of Dien Bien on November 27, 2019. Photo: Danh Trong / Tuoi Tre

A woman in the northern Vietnamese province of Dien Bien has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for trading drugs, after her daughter was raped and murdered by members of her drug ring in a case that shocked the nation in February.

The provincial People’s Court began the trial of Tran Thi Hien, Bui Van Cong, Luong Van Hung, Vi Thi Thu, and Vi Van Toan on Wednesday.

Hien and Cong were handed 20-year jail terms while Hung, Thu, and Toan were condemned to life in prison for illegally storing, transporting, and trading narcotics.

Hien, 44, is the mother of Cao My Duyen, who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by eight men in early February.

Hung, Cong, and Toan were among the eight suspects of the murder.

Police have named Toan as the mastermind of the elaborate crime.

The indictment shows that Hien met Cong in May 2017 to buy four bricks of heroin at VND160 million (US$6,898) per brick.

Cong then ordered the drugs from Thu, who went to the Vietnam-Laos border to purchase the narcotics.

Thu, however, could only get two bricks of heroin and hid the drugs inside her house before handing them to Cong later the same month.

Upon receiving the narcotics, Hien only paid Cong VND290 million ($12,500) for the two heroin bricks and told him that she would pay the remaining VND30 million ($1,300) later.

At the trial, Hien insisted that she was innocent but the jury believed they had sufficient evidence against her.

The trial of suspects in the murder of Duyen will be held on a separate date that has not been decided.

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