Two people were sentenced to death while three others were condemned to life in prison by a court in the north-central Vietnamese province of Nghe An on Monday for trading large amounts of crystal meth in late 2019.
The provincial People’s Court on Monday conducted the trial of Nguyen Van Duan, 40, Phan Dinh Hoang, 58, Nguyen The Lam, 44, Tran Van Tuong, 41, and Luong Thi Thuong, 35.
All of the five defendants hail from Thanh Chuong District, Nghe An Province and were charged for the illegal trade of narcotics.
According to the indictment, Duan arrived in Ho Chi Minh City in mid-September 2019 and was contacted by a man who said he wanted to buy drugs.
Duan then agreed to sell him one kilogram of crystal meth for VND270 million (US$11,650), and the stimulant was handed to the buyer in southern Dong Nai Province.
Duan then discussed with Hoang a plan to buy four kilograms of meth in order to resell them for profit.
Tuong – Hoang’s cousin – later joined the scheme, while Lam was hired to buy the narcotics for them.
They promised to pay Lam VND20 million ($860) when the job was done.
On October 11, 2019, Lam asked Thuong to accompany him to Thanh Son Commune in Thanh Chuong District, where they purchased nearly three kilograms of meth from two Lao nationals for $15,000.
Lam and Thuong caught a coach from Nghe An to Dong Nai later the same day and were arrested by police officers.
Police expanded their investigation and apprehended Hoang and Tuong.
Duan managed to escape and was eventually captured while holed up in Dong Nai in April 2020.
At the trial, Lam and Thuong stated they agreed to buy the narcotics for Duan, Hoang, and Tuong as they were heavily indebted.
The duo added they had yet to receive any money from the three men.
The jury decided to sentence Duan and Hoang to death, while Tuong, Lam, and Thuong were given life imprisonment for their crimes.