A Senegalese man has been caught attempting to smuggle nearly 1.6 kilograms of cocaine by hiding the packaged drugs in his stomach at a major airport in Ho Chi Minh City.
Customs officers at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, in coordination with the anti-drug unit under the municipal customs department, affirmed on Monday they discovered the incident on Saturday last week.
The suspect, a 39-year-old Senegalese national named D.H., had previously traveled from Nigeria to Ethiopia and Thailand before arriving in Vietnam.
H. was apprehended after he completed immigration procedures at the Ho Chi Minh City airport.
Officers first stopped him for a check, but the Senegalese refused to cooperate and resisted so aggressively that he was arrested by force.
Results of a full body screening revealed multiple cylindrical objects in his stomach.
The foreign man was taken to the Military Hospital 175 to have the objects removed from his body.
A total of 77 capsules of cocaine, each of which was five centimeters long and one centimeter in diameter, were eventually found in his stomach.
The drugs weighed nearly 1.6 kilograms and were estimated to be worth approximately VND10 billion (US$430,000).
He is believed to have swallowed the drugs to conceal the prohibited substance and was able to pass airport security in all three countries before being caught at Tan Son Nhat.
Further investigation is ongoing.
Under Vietnam’s Penal Code, transporting cocaine weighing 100 grams and above is punishable by 20 years in prison or even capital punishment.