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Aussie sentenced to life in prison for drug trafficking in Vietnam

Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 15:08 GMT+7

An Australian will spend the rest of his life in prison in Vietnam over drug trafficking.

The civil court of Ho Chi Minh City on Monday gave a life sentence to Jones Nathan Andrew James, an Australian national, on charges of illegal drug transportation.

James, 34, could have been sentenced to death, but the court took his restricted cognitive capability into consideration, the Vietnam News Agency reported, citing the judgment council.  

At the trial, James admitted his guilt.

According to the indictment, at 7:20 pm on October 22, 2013, James was arrested at Tan Son Nhat International Airport while checking in for a flight to Australia after local customs officers discovered 3.5 kilograms of heroin flattened and placed around the inside of two of his suitcases.  

James confessed to investigative units that he owed a debt to a man named Tim and could not afford to settle it.

Tim then suggested that James and his family take a trip to Vietnam with him and he would pay for it as long as they agreed to bring two suitcases back to Australia upon their return.

James added that Tim promised to erase his debt if he followed as advised.

He agreed to the plan, leading to his capture in Ho Chi Minh City.

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