2 foreigners caught at Vietnam airport with drugs

TN News

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Cocaine found in a bag belonging to M.D.B., a 39-year-old Philippine woman, at Tan Son Nhat International Airport on December 31

Customs officers at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport said Thursday they had separately arrested a Filipino and an Australian two days earlier for carrying drugs.

They made the first seizure at 7:20 p.m. Tuesday after becoming suspicious of M.D.B., 39, who had arrived from the Philippines.

They checked her leather bag and found 1.64 kilograms of cocaine pressed flat and wrapped in plastic.

They estimated the value to be around US$380,000 on the street.

Around the same time, officers checked the luggage of N.P., 23, an Australian leaving Vietnam, and found 3.04 kilograms of pseudoephedrine, a drug precursor, cleverly hidden in plastic boxes meant for containing food.

The drugs were worth around $285,000, they said.

The two and the drugs were handed over to the HCMC narcotics police for further investigation.

Details of the passengers' flights were not revealed.

In 2013, customs officials at Tan Son Nhat caught 16 people with 30.34 kilograms of drugs of all kinds and 2,065 tablets of synthetic drugs.

The total value of the haul is estimated at $4.75 million.

Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws -- those convicted of possessing 100 grams of heroin or cocaine or 300 grams of other drugs face capital punishment that is by lethal injection in the country.

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