Traffickers Executed as Vietnam Intensifies War on Drugs
Two men convicted of drug trafficking have been publicly executed in Vietnam's central Nghe An province, a court official said Tuesday.
Vu Xuan Quang, a 36-year-old forest warden, and 32-year-old Nguyen Van Hung were executed by firing squad on Friday, the official said.
Their deaths come amid a major Vietnamese operation to crack down on drug smuggling.
The two men were arrested in 1998 and 1999 as they transported 12.5 kilos (27.5 pound) of opium and 1.4 kilos (three pounds) of heroin destined for sale in Hanoi and Vinh, the capital of Nghe An province.
Under Vietnam's tough anti-drug laws, anyone found in possession of more than 100 grams of heroin or five kilos of opium is liable for the death sentence.
Despite police efforts, narcotics trafficking remains a major trade in Nghe An province, which shares a border with Laos. A total of 408 drug smugglers were arrested in the area this year, according to official statistics.
Some 100 people have been condemned to death for drugs offences in Vietnam this year, up from 76 last year and 58 in 1998.
In April, the execution of Vietnam-born Canadian national Nguyen Thi Hiep for heroin smuggling sparked a diplomatic disagreement with Canadian authorities -- HANOI (AFP)
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