Eight foreigners were sentenced to death with a reprieve for drug trafficking yesterday in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province.
The Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court announced the eight sentences while one other foreigner was given a life term for the same crime, Guangzhou Daily reported today.
Of those convicted, four are Ugandans, two are from Benin and the other three are from Zimbabwe. Seven were convicted of trafficking more than 1 kilogram of drugs, the report said.
The court said foreigners involved in drug deals had become a big problem in the city in recent years, according to the report.
Such drug traffickers were based in Guangzhou, but had expanded their networks to other areas of the country. The amount of drugs being trafficked is on the rise, the court said.
A 29-year-old Ugandan woman was among those sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for hiding 1.2 kilograms of drugs in her body.
She flew from Bujumbura, the capital of the Republic of Burundi, and arrived in Guangzhou on May 20.
She was caught hiding the drugs in her body by customs officials. She later excreted 120 heroin pills in a hospital, the report said.
During the trial, the woman insisted it was gold, not heroin, according to the report.
Another Ugandan woman was caught hiding 1.99 kilograms of heroin in her luggage on December 7, 2007, at Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou.
The woman argued she had bought the suitcase in Thailand and didn't know the suitcase contained drugs, the report said.
The court did not believe their stories.
(Shanghai Daily November 26, 2008)