Vietnam Gives Death Sentence to Lao National Over USD 42 Drug Deal

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Lao Resident Convicted Of Drug Smuggling Charges
Yer Vang (middle) handcuffed between Vietnamese customs and border patrol ( Photo : VN Express )

A Lao national was issued the death penalty in Vietnam for trying to transport narcotics across the Ha Thin Border in August 2022, for which he was paid only USD 42.

Yer Vang, 28, was paid USD 42 to transport one kilogram of ketamine and 7,000 amphetamine pills from Laos into Vietnam.

A court in the central Ha Tinh Province sentenced Yer Vang to death for attempting to move the drugs across the border. 

Suspicion arose among the Ha Thin border guards and customs authorities at the Cau Treo International Border Gate in Huong Son District when they found the back seats of the Kia Cerato which had a Lao number plate to be modified.

On removing the back seat cover, they found the narcotics, some of which were covered in dry tea leaves to alleviate the scent.

VN Express reported that the drugs would have been worth VND 1 billion (USD 41,740) on the market.

Yer said that the drugs had been given to him by a stranger to take across the border and that he was going to be paid VND 1 million (USD 41.5) for the same.

Although Vietnam has one of the toughest laws on drug smuggling, it still continues to be a major hub for trafficking narcotics from the Golden Triangle, along with Laos.

At the start of the year, 8 kilograms of narcotics were seized from a passenger bus traveling from Laos to Vietnam.