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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Oudomxay Court Sentences Two Defendants to Death for Drug Trafficking

This Week

On 28 June, the first-level criminal court committee of the Oudomxay People’s Court sentenced two defendants to death for trafficking 93 bundles of methamphetamine, weighing 22 kilograms. The defendants, Havan Teng, a Vietnamese citizen, and Souliyong (also known as Bounthong), a Lao citizen, both 52 years old, were found guilty of the charges and handed a death sentence.

The People’s Prosecutor’s Office of Oudomxay Province detailed the case in court, stating that on 7 March, 2022, around 11 am, police officers from the Special Task Force at checkpoint 44 – on the Oudomxay to Luang Prabang road – inspected a blue Hyundai car belonging to Havan Teng.

During the search, the officers found a large amount of drugs, which was hidden between five gas canisters, three mattresses, three bed sheets, a pillow, and blankets.

Under interrogation, Havan Teng confessed that he was hired to plow coffee plantations in Pak Chan District, Champasack Province, and planned to buy the drugs from Suliyong in Napoua Village, Mai District, Phongsaly Province.

On 9 March, 2022, officers from the Oudomxay Province Anti-Narcotics Department, in cooperation with Mai District police officers in Phongsaly, arrested Souliyong.

Shortly after the arrest, Souliyong admitted to selling drugs to Havan but claimed to have sold only nine bundles. He denied knowing the source of the remaining bundles.

After thorough investigation and examination of the evidence, the court found both defendants guilty and sentenced them to death. Meanwhile, a third suspect remains at large. Lao officers are continuing efforts to arrest and prosecute him.

Laos has not executed anyone since 1989, yet courts remain entitled to issue death sentences. Currently there are around 300 individuals on death row. Despite this de facto moratorium, Laos is yet to establish a formal moratorium on this law.

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