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Australian man sentenced to death in Vietnam

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HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — State-controlled media say a court in southern Vietnam has sentenced an Australian citizen to death for possessing more than 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds) of heroin.

Pham Trung Dung, an Australian of Vietnamese origin, was arrested in May last year when customs officials reportedly found the heroin in his luggage as he was boarding a flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Australia.

The online newspaper VnExpress quoted Dung as telling the court in the one-day trial Friday that he was hired by an unidentified man to transport the heroin for 40,000 Australian dollars.

Court officials were not available for comment Friday.

Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. Possessing or trafficking 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of heroin is punishable by death.

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