HO CHI MINH CITY, May 22 (Xinhua) -- An appealing court in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh City has handed down the capital punishment to seven drug traffickers for smuggling nearly 400 heroin cakes from Laos to the country, local media reported on Friday.

The 50-year-old mastermind from central Nghe An province and his six accomplices were sentenced to death earlier in a trial court in late 2019. The defendants filed an appeal for mitigation but was rejected by the panel, online newspaper VietNamNet reported on Friday.

Between June and July 2018, the ring trafficked a total of 379 cakes of heroin, weighing 132.2 kg, and 55 kg of crystal methamphetamine from Laos to Vietnam, said the court.

According to the Vietnamese law, those convicted of smuggling over 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kg of methamphetamine are punishable by death. Making or trading 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal drugs also faces death penalty.