Customs officers at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City discovered cocaine in the luggage of a Russian student who had traveled from Chile through some other countries without being detected before arriving in Vietnam on Sunday.
The foreign student, 25, came to the international airport on flight EK392 from Dubai (UAE) in the evening, bringing along with him a backpack and a handbag, customs officers said.
Finding signs of suspicion in his baggage, customs officers asked him to bring it to a separate room for manual inspection.
During the inspection, officers found the linings of the handbag, a blanket and three overcoats seemingly soaked with drugs.
Tests made on the lining samples showed that they contained cocaine.
Officers then seized 13 pieces of linings, weighing 6.42kg in total, which contained cocaine.
The student admitted to officers that he had been hired by an unidentified man to transport the drugs for US$1,000.
The Russian national said he received the objects containing cocaine in Chile and then traveled with them in a complicated itinerary of Chile-Russia- Dubai-Paulo (Brazil)-Santiago (Chile)-Dubai-Ho Chi Minh City.
The Ho Chi Minh City customs department has handed over the student and the linings containing cocaine to anti-drug police for investigation.
On November 3, anti-drug officers at the same international airport caught a Malaysian woman smuggling over 5kg of cocaine 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.
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.
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.