Thirty drug smugglers have been sentenced to death in Vietnam for trafficking more than 12 tons of heroin in the communist country's largest-ever narcotics case.
The 21 men and nine women, all Vietnamese, were found guilty of drug trafficking, while a further 59 defendants were handed sentences ranging up to life in prison.
Each appeared flanked by two police officers at the mass trial in Quang Ninh province, which was held in the yard of a detention centre, rather than a courtroom.
'This was Vietnam's largest ever trial in terms of defendants, the number of death penalties given out and the amount of heroin involved,' presiding judge Ngo Duc said after the verdict was read out in the northern province of Quang Ninh - which borders China.
One of the leaders of the four smuggling rings broken up by the police remains at large, state media reported.
Police disrupted the rings in August 2013, making mass arrests and seizing large quantities of illegal drugs.
They also confiscated 20 luxury cars and dozens of guns and other weapons during the raid, state media reported.
Communist Vietnam has some of the world's toughest anti-drug laws.
Anyone found guilty of possessing more than 600 grams (21 ounces) of heroin, or more than 20 kilograms of opium, can face the death penalty.
Convictions and sentences are usually revealed only by local media, which is strictly under state control.