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Vietnam sentences 30 people to death for drug trafficking in single trial

HANOI, Vietnam - A Vietnamese court has sentenced 30 people to death for trafficking in heroin at the conclusion of a mass trial.

State media reported the 21 men and 9 women were convicted Monday of being part of a ring that smuggled nearly 2 tons of heroin from Laos into Vietnam and then on to China.

The trial lasted 20 days and was held in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

It was not immediately possible to reach court officials or lawyers.

Vietnam has tough drug laws and possessing or trafficking 600 grams (21.16 ounces) of heroin can result in a death sentence.

There are currently nearly 700 people on the death row.

In 2011, the country switched from firing squads to lethal injection on humanitarian grounds.

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