Three Japanese nationals were executed Friday after being convicted of drug trafficking, the Supreme People's Court announced. Teruo Takeda, 67, Hironori Ukai, 48, and Katsuo Mori, 67, were put to death in northeastern Liaoning Province. Takeda was convicted of buying about 5 kg of methamphetamine in China in June 2003 and instructing other Japanese to take the drugs out of China.
The accomplices were caught by police at airports in Dalian and Shenyang when they attempted to smuggle the drug to Japan the following month.
Takeda was arrested in June 2004 when he was trading more than 2.9 kg of stimulant drugs with other drug dealers, said a statement from the court.
Ukai was caught by police at an airport in Dalian in September 2003 when he and a Korean accomplice attempted to pass security check with drugs hidden under clothes. Ukai was found carrying about 1.5 kg of drugs.
Mori was caught by police when he attempted to board a plane from Shenyang to Japan with 1.25 kg of drugs in July 2003. His Japanese accomplice was still at large, the court said.
The statement said Takeda and Ukai were convicted and sentenced to death at by Intermediate People's Court of Dalian and Mori's case was handled by Intermediate People's Court of Shenyang.
The Supreme People's Court approved the death penalties.
Drug smuggling is a felony offense under Chinese Criminal Law and those who are convicted of smuggling, selling, transporting or producing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine or heroine can be sentenced to death.
The three Japanese had been treated legally during their detention and trials, and their rights to appeal had been upheld, the statement said.
All individuals, regardless of nationality, were treated equally in the application of Chinese law, and China's retention of the death penalty for drugs crimes helped deter and prevent such crimes, it said.
The three, together with Mitsunobu Akano, who was executed on Tuesday, were the first group of Japanese nationals executed in China for drug dealing since the two countries normalized diplomatic ties in 1972.
13:50, April 09, 2010 | Source: Xinhua
Northeast: Three Japanese drug smugglers executed in northeast China