Cher Wei Hon, a Singaporean was sentenced to death at Tay Ninh People’s Court on Friday for smuggling 10 kg of methamphetamine from Cambodia.
The court found 40-year-old Cher, residing in District 5 of Ho Chi Minh City, guilty of “illegal transportation of banned substances.”
According to the indictment, at 3:15 a.m. on June 29, 2019, the Southern Drug Prevention Special Force, cooperating with the Border Guard Station at Moc Bai in Tay Ninh Province that borders HCMC, stopped and searched a car driven by Duong Hung Tam, 27. Cher was in the car.
Cher subsequently identified the large amount of white crystals inside the vehicle as meth.
According to the police, the total volume of meth seized reached 9.95 kg.
Cher said he had met a woman named Quynh at a karaoke parlor in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. After borrowing VND200 million ($8,600) from her, he worked for her to pay off the debt.
At first, Quynh tasked Cher with transporting iPhones and iPads from Cambodia to Vietnam, followed by running drugs across the border for $500 to $1,000 a trip.
He was arrested en route to delivering the meth to HCMC.
Cher later stated he had conducted five such trips successfully before being caught.
Police have not managed to track down Quynh while Tam was set free after no connection could be established between him and Cher other than that of mere transportation.
Meth and other kinds of synthetic drugs have become more popular in Vietnam of late, favored by the hard-partying youth.
The country has become a key trafficking hub despite employing some of the world’s toughest drug laws.
Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 gm of heroin or over 2.5 kg of methamphetamines face capital punishment. The production or sale of 100 gm of heroin or 300 gm of other illegal narcotics is also punishable by death.
Reporting by Hoang Nguyen @ VNExpress