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Russian woman in detention for carrying 2.78kg of cocaine at Vietnam airport

Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 11:03 GMT+7
Russian woman in detention for carrying 2.78kg of cocaine at Vietnam airport
In this file photo, Vietnamese customs officers handle bags of cocaine they seized at Tan Son Nhat International Airport on July 30, 2014.

Customs officers at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City said on Monday that tests showed the white powder weighing 2.78kg they had found in the luggage of a Russian woman is cocaine.

>> Vietnam police nab 2 drug traffickers, seize 35 kg of heroin >> Vietnamese coast guards nab 3 for smuggling 13kg of drugs >> Vietnamese-Chinese caught with 6.5kg of drugs at Hanoi airport >> Chinese woman gets life for carrying 2kg of drugs to Vietnam

Following the testing result, the customs force has handed the woman, Dapirka Maria, 28, with Russian nationality, to the city police for further investigation.

Maria arrived at the airport on Flight VN659 from Singapore on Saturday.

Customs officers decided to inspect the woman’s luggage manually after discovering signs of suspicion from it.

On searching a bag packed in a suitcase, inspectors found small packets of white powder stashed inside the linings of the bag.

Meanwhile, other packs of similar white powder were also found taped on the inner surfaces of the covers of a magazine.

The total weight of the powder was 2.87kg, which was later confirmed as cocaine.

A large amount of cocaine was also discovered in the luggage of a Vietnamese-Chinese passenger arriving at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi from Hong Kong on August 10. The passenger, Dinh Dac Khanh, who is a Hong Konger but hails from the northern Vietnamese city of Hai Phong, landed at the airport on flight VN593 at 3:30 pm that day. Like in the case of the Russian woman, customs officers also found suspicious signs from Khanh’s luggage, so they searched it manually.

These officers later found many bags of yellow powder hidden among other objects packed in 12 metal boxes in a suitcase.

Tests showed that a part of the powder was cocaine, weighing 4.572kg, and the remaining was synthetic drugs, weighing 1.984kg. Under the Vietnamese Penal Code, those who are indicted for producing or selling 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics are given the death sentence.

Capital punishment is also applied to those who are convicted of smuggling more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine.

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