VIETNAM. FIVE PEOPLE EXECUTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
June 7, 2006: five members of Vietnam's biggest drug trafficking ring were executed.
The five, including 46-year-old ring leader Nguyen Van Hai, were shot dead by a firing squad at Ho Chi Minh City's Long Binh execution ground at dawn.
AFP news agency reported that 11 other members of the ring were awaiting execution, while 13 were serving jail sentences of between 8 years and life.
In January 2005, a total of 17 people involved in the network were sentenced to death, the highest number of death sentences passed in a single trial in Vietnam.
Four months later, an appeal court commuted one of the sentences to a prison term.
The defendants were charged with possessing weapons and trafficking up to 820 kilograms of heroin from the central province of Nghe An, bordering Laos, to Ho Chi Minh City. (Sources: abcasiapacific.com, 08/06/2006)