A Lang Son court sentenced 11 people to death Wednesday for trafficking 561 kg of heroin from Vietnam into China.
Another member of the gang was sentenced to life in prison, making this one of the harshest verdicts in recent years, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
According to the indictment, the drug trafficking ring had transported the heroin from the northern mountainous province of Lang Son across the border into China between 2016 and 2018.
Vi Van The, 48, who was sentenced to death, was identified as the gang leader. The indictment said he had a close relationship with partners in China and had trafficked drugs many times into the neighboring country. He was arrested in July last year while attempting to flee to Laos.
The crackdown on the ring was a joint effort between Vietnamese and Chinese authorities.
Vietnam is a key trafficking hub for drugs from the Golden Triangle, an intersection of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar and the world’s second largest drug producing area after the Golden Crescent in South Asia.
Though it has some of the world’s toughest drug laws, including death for smuggling and trading, drug busts continue to be frequent occurrence.
Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamines face the death penalty. The production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is also punishable by death.