By Nguyen Quy, VNExpress International

A Lang Son court sentenced 11 people to death Wednesday for trafficking 561 kg of heroin from Vietnam into China.

Another member of the gang was sentenced to life in prison, making this one of the harshest verdicts in recent years, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

According to the indictment, the drug trafficking ring had transported the heroin from the northern mountainous province of Lang Son across the border into China between 2016 and 2018.

Vi Van The, 48, who was sentenced to death, was identified as the gang leader. The indictment said he had a close relationship with partners in China and had trafficked drugs many times into the neighboring country. He was arrested in July last year while attempting to flee to Laos.