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Vietnam court upholds death for Malaysian woman for drug trafficking

Friday, October 30, 2020, 17:05 GMT+7

A Ho Chi Minh City court this week upheld the death penalty for a Malaysian woman convicted of ‘illegally transporting drugs’ from Brazil into Vietnam two years ago.

The High People’s Court in the city rejected the appeal of Sharina Binti Mohd Zaini, a 30-year-old Malaysian, on Wednesday.

Customs officials found over four kilograms of drugs stashed in Zaini’s two checked suitcases at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on November 26, 2018, according to court documents.

She had landed from Dubai, UAE.

She said she had traveled to Laos and met a person named Prakas Ashwin in September 2018.

Ashwin introduced her to a man called Jackey in November the same year, when the Malaysian woman was vacationing in Hong Kong.

Jackey then offered Zaini US$1,200, to be paid by Ashwin, and flight tickets, to be covered by Jackey, in exchange for her to come to Brazil and bring documents to Ho Chi Minh City for Ashwin. The woman agreed to this offer.

On November 24, 2018, Zaini received two suitcases from a person dispatched by Jackey and put clothes in them as requested before bringing them from Sao Paulo to Ho Chi Minh City.

She flew from the Brazilian municipality to the Vietnamese city via Dubai and was arrested upon landing.

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court condemned Zaini to death for ‘illegally transporting drugs’ on June 19 this year. She then appealed the sentence.

Wednesday’s court of appeals refused her plea and kept handing down capital punishment on her.

Vietnam adopts a harsh stance against drug violators.

Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine can face capital punishment, according to the penal code.

Manufacturing or selling from 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is also punishable by death.

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