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Vietnam upholds death penalty for woman who trafficked drugs from Cambodia 19 times

Saturday, October 24, 2020, 09:51 GMT+7
Vietnam upholds death penalty for woman who trafficked drugs from Cambodia 19 times
Nguyen Thanh Ngoc (right) sits in a courtroom of the High People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City, October 23, 2020. Photo: Dan Thuan / Tuoi Tre

The High People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday rejected an appeal and upheld the death penalty against a 29-year-old woman for having illegally transported narcotics from Cambodia into Vietnam for 19 times.

On February 27 last year, border guard officers at My Quy Tay Border Gate in Duc Hue District, Long An Province detected a bag containing 3,966 synthetic drug tablets weighing more than 1.5 kilograms, 997.32 grams of ketamine, and nearly two kilograms of methamphetamine on Nguyen Thanh Ngoc’s scooter when she was riding it from Cambodia to Vietnam, according to court documents.

Ngoc, 29, admitted to officials that Duong Ngoc Huynh Nhu, 33, living in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Thanh District had paid her VND5 million (US$215) to carry the said drugs from the Cambodian province of Svay Rieng to Duc Hue District and hand over them to Le Hoang Vu, 41, living in the city’s Phu Nhuan District.

Ngoc was arrested at My Quy Tay Border Gate before she could deliver the drugs to Vu.

The Long An woman also confessed that she had helped Nhu transport drugs from Cambodia into Vietnam for 19 times, from November 2018 until she was arrested, and had been paid VND182 million ($7,800) in total.

She already spent the entire remuneration on personal expenses and paying off her debts, Ngoc said.

The Provincial People’s Court of Long An handed down a death sentence on Ngoc on charges of illegally transporting narcotics on July 10.

Ngoc pleaded guilty to all charges but she lodged an appeal for a commutation of the penalty.

However, the judge panel stated that the first instance judgment of the Provincial People’s Court of Long An was reasonable, arguing Ngoc had trafficked drugs in large quantities many times, so it was necessary to give her a strict sentence.

Therefore, the High People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City rejected Ngoc’s appeal and upheld the capital punishment for her.

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