A HCMC court sentenced three men to death Tuesday for smuggling 100 kilograms of heroin and methamphetamine from Cambodia during the pandemic, by disguising them as charity goods.
Of the three, Nguyen Thanh Hung, 31, was found to play the main role as he directly received orders from a man only identified as Jimmy in Cambodia.
Huynh Van Thong, 48, who was active with charity works, worked for Jimmy by transporting the drugs from Cambodia to Vietnam by disguising them in baskets of dried fish and fermented fish to be donated to people locked down or impoverished due to Covid-19 in Vietnam.
Ho Hoang Nam, 31, contributed by using his house in District 12 as the place to store the drugs.
According to the indictment, investigators from HCMC Police discovered the operation led by Hung in mid-2021.
They found that Hung lived in the city and sometimes traveled to the city’s outskirts to receive food baskets from Thong.
Thong then lived in Tay Ninh Province that borders Cambodia and was known as a charity enthusiast. He was active in looking for food donations to support people affected by the raging Covid-19 in HCMC.
With the philanthropist label, he directly transported goods from Cambodia via the border in the Mekong Delta’s Dong Thap Province and put them on cars that traveled to HCMC and could bypass Covid-19 restrictions.
Each of these trips carried 30-40 kg of meth and 16-20 kg of heroin.
Police found the drugs after stopping one of Thong’s cars and raided the ring’s storage in August 2021.
They seized nearly 100 kg of meth, heroin and ecstasy pills.
Hung said he got to know Jimmy in July 2021. He had worked as his drug mule three times and bought drugs from him for resale once.
The first time acting as the drug mule, he did not check the amount of the drugs, but was paid VND100 million and he paid Nam VND10 million. He said he did not receive payment the other times yet.
In August 2021, he bought 5 kg of meth from Jimmy at VND975 million (US$40,160) and resold it for VND1 billion.
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