A Vietnam court has given capital punishment to two Taiwanese men for transporting over 600 kilograms of methamphetamine, which is the largest amount of this drug type ever seized in the Southeast Asian country.
The People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City on Friday handed down the death penalty on Chiang Wei Chih, 33, and Yeh Ching Wei, 35, hailing from Taiwan, on charges of “illegal transport of narcotic substances” under the Vietnamese Penal Code.
On April 12, 2009, while watching the traffic monitoring screen at their office, traffic police officers in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 5 spotted a car and two trucks parking at wrong places at a three-way intersection and having abnormal signs.
On suspicion that these vehicles could carry prohibited goods, a police team immediately came to the scene but all the vehicles had left.
The team immediately coordinated with other units to launch a chase of the suspected vehicles and they eventually stopped the car driven by Yeh Ching Wei carrying Chiang Wei Chih, and a truck driven by Le Hoang Phuc near the Thu Thiem tunnel area in District 2.
Police officers found the truck carrying 60 cartons that contained abnormally heavy portable speakers without any invoices or other supporting documents.
|This supplied photo shows the drug carrying truck stopped by a police car in Ho Chi Minh City on April 12, 2019.|
An inspection of the speakers exposed 590 plastic bags looking like tea bags and weighing 606 kilograms in total.
These bags contained colorless crystals that were later identified as methamphetamine, a very addictive stimulant drug.
After arresting Yeh and Chiang, the police searched for and seized the remaining truck, driven by a man named Pham Ngoc Khai Hoan, whose testimonies led to a seizure of 452 kilograms more of meth also hidden in the ‘tea bags’ in 38 loudspeakers at a location in District 10.
However, there has been no proof to prove Yeh’s and Chiang’s involvement in the 452 kilograms of methamphetamine, the police imposed no criminal responsibility on them for the drugs.
Chiang told investigators that he had entered Vietnam three times from 2018 until his arrest while Yeh came to Vietnam for the first time.
The two men said that they entered Vietnam through the Tan Son Nhat International Airport on April 10, 2019 to receive and store drugs under the direction of a man with unknown identity, merely called as “Mr. Tran,” to get an enumeration of US$5,000 after the successful exchange.
A day later, they met a Laotian man named Volavong Veopadinh at a hotel in District 1 and were asked to receive the drugs at the above-mentioned intersection.
The two then came to the venue in a rent car, along with a rent truck driven by Phuc.
After receiving the drugs from a truck sent in by the Laotian man and was driven by Hoan, the two men escorted the drugs to Tan Binh District for storage but were caught red-handed on the way.
As the two drivers of the trucks, Phuc and Hoan, did not know the goods they had been hired to carry to be drugs, they were exempt from criminal treatment.
Police also verified that Veopadinh left the country for Laos on April 13, 2019 through a border gate in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum, so they have sent a team to follow this man.
In Vietnam, possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine will lead to the death penalty.