Vietnam sentences 5 Chinese to death in drug case

AP News
Posted: Dec 25, 2009 11:43 PM

A Vietnamese court sentenced five Chinese men to death by firing squad for trafficking nearly 8 tons of hashish in one of the country's biggest drug hauls ever, state media reported Saturday.

The hashish _ with a street value of $90 million _ was seized from two containers full of blue jeans on a ship that arrived in the northern port city of Hai Phong in April 2008, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported. A Hong Kong-based ring planned to transport the drugs from Vietnam to China, it said.

A court in the northern province of Quang Ninh, which borders China, sentenced the five men Friday after a four-day trial.

Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. About 100 people are executed by firing squad each year, many for committing drug-related offenses.

The court ordered the hashish to be destroyed. More than $180,000 and 19,758 pairs of jeans were confiscated, the newspaper said.

Sentenced to death were Lu Mingcheng, 52, and Wan Huilan, 42, both from China's Guangdong province; Chan Kwok Kwong, 52, and Ngan Chiu Kuen, 42, both from Hong Kong; and Ieong Chi Kai, 52, from Macau.