Police in Ho Chi Minh City have confirmed that they arrested last month a Salvadorian man who had allegedly trafficked 42 kilos of cocaine into Vietnam over the past year.
Mata Bernal Carlos Rene, 56, was arrested at a hotel in District 1, after police discovered that he was trying to bring in a batch of 32 kg cocaine via the port of Cat Lai in the city.
The drug was hidden inside a consignment of wood flooring products shipped from South America to Rene under a fake name, police said.
Further investigations found that the Salvadorian man had earlier trafficked 10 kg of cocaine via Noi Bai airport in Hanoi. That batch was concealed inside an agricultural machinery shipment imported from Argentina.
Police discovered many documents and other evidence related to his drug trafficking activities when combing his hotel room.
They also said that they had recently caught red-handed two other foreigners, a Colombian and a Salvadorian, carrying 17 kg cocaine in their handbags on a flight from Vietnam to Hong Kong. No further details have been released.
Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. Under its Penal Code, those convicted of smuggling 100 grams of heroin or cocaine or 300 grams of other drugs can be sentenced to death.