Police and customs officers at Tan Son Nhat Airport on Thursday arrested an Australian national for attempting to smuggle around three kilograms of heroin to Australia.
The 76-year-old woman hid the drug in five jars of fermented fish paste among other items in her luggage.
She said she owed gambling money to some people in Australia and they forced her to smuggle the drug over to clear the debt. The heroin is estimated to have a street value of around US$720,000.
Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. The production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is punishable by death.
Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine also face the death penalty.