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Vietnam sentences 3 heroin dealers to death

Vietnam sentences three people to death and two others to life imprisonment for heroin trading.

world Updated: Sep 15, 2007 09:51 IST

A court in Hanoi sentenced three people to death and two others to life imprisonment for heroin trading, state media reported on Saturday.

The defendants were convicted of trading 1.75 kilograms (4 pounds) of heroin and given the sentences at the end of a three-day trial on Friday by Hanoi People's Court, the Communist Party newspaper Nhan Dan (People) said. They were arrested in August last year.

Four other defendants were given jail terms of up to 20 years for their involvement in the heroin trade, the newspaper said. Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. Possessing, trading or trafficking more than 600 grams (1.3 pounds) of heroin or 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of opium is punishable by death or life in prison.

About 100 people are sentenced to face firing squads for drug-related offenses each year in Vietnam.