Vietnam’s anti-drug officers caught a Malaysian woman smuggling over 5kg of cocaine at a Ho Chi Minh City airport on Tuesday, after she traveled through five countries without being detected.
Kaur Gurcharan Singh Manpal, 44, was found carrying 16 bags of suspicious white powder in her baggage after she arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport at 7:20 pm on Tuesday, anti-drug officers under the airport’s customs reported.
The bags, weighing 5.39kg in total, were covered with silver wrappings and hidden in the linings of her handbags and suitcases, officers said.
Tests on the powder samples taken from these bags showed that they were cocaine, they added.
She had traveled from Malaysia to Colombia, Panama, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates with the cocaine without being detected before landing in Vietnam, news website VnExpress quoted officers as saying.
The anti-drug force has made a report of the case and handed the women and her cocaine to the city’s drug crime investigation police agency for investigation.
Under Article 194 of the Vietnamese Penal Code, twenty years of imprisonment, life imprisonment or capital punishment can be given to those who are found guilty of illegally stockpiling, transporting, trading in or appropriating heroin or cocaine weighing one hundred grams or more.
The same penalties shall be given to those who traffic opium resin, marijuana resin or coca plasma weighing five kilograms or more; marijuana leaves, flowers, fruit or coca leaves weighing 75 kilograms or more; dried poppy fruit weighing 600 kilograms or more; fresh poppy fruit weighing 150 kilograms or more; other narcotic substances in solid form weighing 300 grams or more or in liquid form measuring 750 milliliters or more.
The Hanoi People’s Court on August 18 sentenced a Filipino man, forty-year-old Emmanuel Sillo Camacho, to death for carrying over 3.4kg of cocaine from Brazil into Vietnam in late 2013.
On April 4, 2014, the appeal court of the Supreme People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City upheld the death sentence for Chaimongkol Suracha, a 32-year-old Thai woman, for trafficking 2kg of drugs from Brazil to Vietnam in 2012. On August 19, 2013, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court condemned a 31-year-old Nigerian man, Ejiogu Benjamin Ikechukwu, to death for smuggling more than 3.4kg of synthetic drugs from Qatar to Vietnam in June 2012.