An 80-year-old woman was caught red-handed buying 3.3 kilograms of heroin at her house in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday, and claimed she needed money to raise her grandchildren.
City police raided the house of Nguyen Thi Miet on Cao Thang Street in District 10, when she was receiving the heroin from Ngo Van Thanh, 51.
Police found another 330 grams of heroin - a "heroin brick" in drug dealing terms - hidden in a wardrobe on the second floor of Miet's four-story house.
Yet another 330 gram of heroin and US$ 92,000 were found hidden in a wooden cupboard in the kitchen, police said.
Miet told police the money was meant to pay Thanh for the new delivery.
Miet said she had bought 1,980 gram of heroin the day before at the price of $9,200 for each 330 gram, and retailed it at a higher price of between $ 9,500 and 10,000 for each 330 gram.
Thanh told police that he became a heroin deliverer after his company, of which he was the director, went bankrupt and he was deep in debt.
Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. Those convicted of smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine face the death penalty.
The production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is also punishable by death.
Vietnam officially switched from the firing squad to lethal injection in November 2011. But it was not until last August that the country executed its first prisoner with the new method due to a shortage of the fatal serum required to carry it out.
Two weeks ago, the Supreme People's Court, Vietnam's highest court, upheld the death penalties against 29 of 30 people sentenced to die last January in one of the country's largest drug trafficking cases.